Newest Review: ... decks. The vessels seem to handle the rough seas quite well compared to older vessels as they have more stabilisers built in and are ... more
Quite luxurious inside including cabins
Member Name: lgb351
Date: 14/09/10, updated on 16/09/10 (302 review reads)
Advantages: Regular services, quite luxurious and comfortable inside, modern ships with stabilisers built in
Disadvantages: Sometimes bad weather on crossings but can't be helped
Northlink ferries run regular sailings between Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland as well as a daily sailing from the very north of Scotland to Orkney. Around 2002, brand new vessels were acquired which are pretty luxurious inside.
The sailings between Aberdeen and Orkney/Shetland take place overnight and there are plenty of good quality cabins on board.
Many cabins including executive ones, outside berths and inner 4 berths. Some cabins can be shared for half the price if you don't mind possibly sharing with a random person or groups of friends maybe can share cabins.
Theres a restaurant, 2 bars, bistro serving breakfast and dinner, cinema showing 3 films each night, gaming machines, childrens play area and an outside deck which is always open at the rear no matter how stormy the weather usually. Under health and safety rules, smoking is only allowed on the outside decks.
The vessels seem to handle the rough seas quite well compared to older vessels as they have more stabilisers built in and are also designed better for the north sea weather. In older vessels, I have been very seasick sailing in rough seas whereas with Northlink ferries I don't really get seasick at all even if it's rough seas unless it's really stormy of course. The crew always advise customers of the weather conditions prior to sailing so you are always kept well informed. I believe that occasionally if sailings are delayed for departure because of waiting for weather to calm down a bit then passengers are allowed on board to use the facilities while the ship is docked.
In the bistro, the food quality is excellent and often uses fresh local produce while it's reasonably priced. The bar also serves drinks, crisps/peanuts and snacks like sandwiches and pies which are also very good and priced reasonably.
As for the cabins, they are very clean and comfortable inside. The mattresses are very comfortable and easy to lie on while the sheets are always clean. There's tea and coffee facilities and all cabins are en-suite with toilet, sink and shower. The shower's are also very good and they are quite powerful while they always have hot water available. Some of the slightly more expensive cabins have a TV and the executive cabins have internet for laptops while you get free wi-fi on all other areas of the ship but you don't get a wi-fi reception in cabins other than the executive cabins. There are some power sockets around the ship that you can use to plug in your laptop if necessary.
Prices for sailings are really good. In mid season the basic price of a foot passenger crossing is £28 roughly with a sleeper seat which are in a very quiet area of the ship and then cabins and/or taking your car is extra.
Inside, the ship is very clean, well lit and comfortable inside. Outside noise doesn't really penetrate inside the ship even the howling of gale force winds outside at times in winter.
For passage of pets, there are facilities on board where pets can be kept safe.
Security seems to always be paramount; there is often a security guard walking round the decks checking everything's in order even in the early hours of the morning.
Update on the restaurant:
Serves starters, main courses and desserts of high quality and freshness which seem worth the price paid. Drinks such as wine, beer etc. are same price as drinks in the bar or bistro. Main courses start from £10.95 and are generous portions while starters or desserts are from around £5. Waiter/waitress table service in comfortable and quiet surroundings. The service was very good so full tip(s) given. Restaurant remains open until late evening even during rough crossings. Reservations can be made for the restaurant and this is recommended especially during summer months.
Summary: Quite luxurious and comfortable inside, modern ships designed for the weather
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