"quite uncomfortable overnight ferry"
headed to shetland (lerwick) from aberdeen with myself, partner and motorcycle. first impression: the motorcycle parking on board the ferry is not great. they need you to park right next to a railing with the stand side towards the railing, and they tie the bike to it. for a large, heavy bike like mine, this is extremely difficult, puts weight on the fairing, and is probably completely unnecessary - other ferries just pass a tightening harness over the seat and hook it down to the deck. as a result, on the return journey, the mirror popped out of the fairing due to the pressure of being pressed against the railing. it could have ended worse, but luckily no permanent damage done this time (else i would have had to ride 250 miles home without a left mirror - scary thought!). once on board, the staff are helpful and friendly, the restaurant seems good (but we didn't order a dinner since we packed ours) and the bar had a variety of local ales on tap at very reasonable prices! our happiness ended there though. resting for the night proved highly uncomfortable as all sections had bright lighting on for the entire journey. the seats reclined a bit but there was no leg rest, so we ended up sliding down the semi reclined seats uncomfortably. we could tell by the way everyone else was trying to sleep that it was equally uncomfortable for all shapes and sizes of people! paying 2 pounds for a blanket, eye mask, pillow and earplugs is well worth it - other upgrades, definitely not! on our return journey, we learned from our experience and grabbed sofa seats, which allowed us to get some (but not much) sleep. the return ferry was also extremely overbooked, and people were sleeping on the floor as there was nowhere else for them! We were lucky to be traveling as a couple so one of us could hold the seat while the other went to the toilet/bar/stretched our legs etc, or we would have lost our spot in minutes. another grouse is the lack of charging points - on an overnight journey, people inevitably need to charge their gadgets, and the sockets seemed like they were placed for housekeeping to hook up vacuum cleaners, and not customers. there wasn't a single socket near any seat, and they were all at ground level. overall, other than the bar, it wasn't a particularly enjoyable ferry - a pity, since this is pretty much the only way to get to shetland with a motorcycle! I've heard the private suites are comfortable, but those literally cost more than a posh hotel room! also, it's a good idea to book direct from northlink as they give free changes/cancellation, which direct ferries does not (and northlink also charge much less for the ticket to boot)