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We travelled on LD Lines this week-end - one of the crew advised that the ship was going in for a refit in November (adding passenger cabins) and also suggested that LD Lines had/were sourcing a 2nd vessel for the route

Can anyone confirm if this information is correct ?R


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Yes, the ship is going in for its periodic drydocking in November, and part of the work is the addition of couchette berths and a number of fully-reclining seats. No more cabins - this would be too expensive a job, even though the Horizon Lounge was originally cabins so it would be perfectly possible - but even though conversion of that area would double the cabin accommodation there would still not be enough, and the ship would lose its main standard class seating area.

LD Lines hopes to arrange another ship to provide temporary cover. It is actively seeking a second ship to use on the route alongside Norman Spirit, but nothing is available. To get one built would take at least 2-3 years, and LD wants one much sooner.

The source of this information was LD boss Pierre Gehanne, so it should be reliable.

Incidentally, if you can get a cabin, the single ones are excellent.

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We've just booked a crossing for mid October and have ended up booking two single berth cabins as all the two berth cabins have gone.  Looking at the LD Lines website there is a photo of what appears to be a single that must at one time had 4 bunks in it, it's huge!  Is that really a full length settee?


I wonder, would there be a customer objection to a dormetary type sleeping area that had tiers of bunks, like a youth hostel?  We (the public) are happy (but uncomfortable) sleeping in a public area in semi reclining seats, why would flat bunks be any different?  The packing denstiy would be higher than the seats and cabins and would give a better nights sleep.


Any thoughts?

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Yes, the single cabins on LD Lines are virtually the same size as a normal four-berth cabin, with a bed, settee, WC/shower, desk, wardrobe etc. As I said above, they are superb. I think they were probably converted for crew accommodation in the ship's short crossing era. They could probably be converted back again for multiple use, but it would probably not be worth it as there is quite a demand for single occupancy cabins.

The fully-reclining seats are to go in a 'first class' area, and will be similar to the British Airways first class beds. The sleeping area that you describe is more or less what is going to be provided as 'couched' berths, though they will be in cabins they will not have individual toilet and shower facilities. To quote LED's chief executive Pierre Gehanne; "LD Lines has decided to fit the Norman Spirit with 20/24 extra cabins and slightly more than 80 fully reclining "flat bed seats". These fittings have been already ordered in order to have them installed on board the vessel in November. With these extra equipments, I believe that the Norman Spirit will be able offer suitable space areas and cabins for a quiet rest, at a reasonable price (otherwise it would not make any sense)."

The conclusion was reached by the company after Mr Gehanne took part in a discussion at another France forum with regular and potential users. Several ideas were put forward, including a 'camping' area.

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Thanks Will, that sounds like good news.  Not sure about 'first class' though. [:(]

So we think that there will be 80+ first class flat bed seats and a further 20/24 cabins with flat beds but no facilities.

I might sleep on the settee and auction the second single berth cabin on our crossing and get a few pounds back. [:)]

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The website is still accepting  bookings for November and I am  becoming concerned .

What if  LD Lines  do not find a substitute ship by then ?

I thought they way to do things was to  first contract out a  substitute vessel and then arrange and announce to put the other ship  in the docks for refurb...


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