That bar area was (re-)installed by Destination Gotland when the Drotten was used on the Hansa Destinations operation - it had previously been yet another corner of reclining seats.ropax wrote: ↑31 Jul 2023 17:41I was just last week in Gotland again for some days "testing" Drotten (and Gotland ex Thjelvar) ((Report will follow)) and this ferry is really very basic and also "used" inside now. The only really impressing thing is the high Speed, f.ex. just today 29,4 knots and only really positive inside is the small bar-area at the front of Drotten, looking modern and fresh.
Yes, to be useful Irish Ferries would need to make changes to the saloon deck, but those are relatively easy modifications compared to installing an extra car deck or freight deck.
The Epsilon makes just one round trip to France a week, the rest of the week is spent on the run to Holyhead - and in any event we expect the Oscar Wilde to switch to replace her on that .ropax wrote: ↑31 Jul 2023 17:41So as 3rd extra-ferry on a short 3-hour-route for some weeks in summer still ok - but i am sure that Irish Ferries is looking for a ferry with higher standard and more comfort onboard than a "swimming university-canteen" and "1000" Pullman-seats.
If i f.ex. compare the Drotten with an Australian Superfast it is a difference as between night and day.
Drotten would be a lower class than Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats and Ulysses. So maybe as shortterm "emergency-solution" until the Superfasts from Canada and Australia are available it is thinkable for Irish Ferries.
So the vacancy is likely to be on the short routes at Pembroke or at Dover for which we know a Superfast without a lot of work wouldn't be great and the Victoria I even less so.
There isn't a single ship operating in any of the sectors Irish Ferries operate in that doesn't have twin freight decks, even the Pont-Aven has a lower lorry hold. I think that tells its own story in terms of what these operations require. And freight decks are also car decks - in the summer you could end up with a full vehicle deck and empty passenger cabins if the ship has the wrong balance.ropax wrote: ↑31 Jul 2023 17:41And for Irish Ferries as said before: Is there really soooo much freight ? Cabins to/from France was / are often full-booked this year, and all forecasts says "more tourists in 2024, much more tourists in 2025, much much more tourists in 2026 to Ireland" - but freight can be still booked normally. So if Irish Ferries want answer or overtrump Stena Vision - with Victoria it would be possible.
Yes you could muddle along with the Victoria I, especially maybe as an additional summer ship, but I think it's unlikely that that would be what they are looking for to fill the gap in the fleet, even temporarily.