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Let your class kip in a ship

Date Posted: 28/11/2014

Kip in a Ship offers an exciting educational opportunity for UK school groups of children aged eight to 18 to sleepover for up to three nights in the heart of London on HMS Belfast.

HMS Belfast, part of Imperial War Museums, is a World War Two light cruiser moored on the river Thames.

Children will stay in the messdecks, the original sleeping quarters, where they will sleep in real sailors’ bunks. There are also two separate cabins which accommodate up to six adults.When a school first arrives in the evening, they will be greeted by their dedicated overnight concierge, who will act as the main point of contact throughout the duration of their visit.

They will then receive a health and safety briefing from the concierge. Shortly after, the pupils enter below deck where they are faced by steep ladders, so they will have to work as a team to lower their luggage down to the sleeping quarters. The concierge ensures the group’s experience is a positive, safe and enjoyable one.

After working out the sleeping arrangements, the group will be escorted back to the quayside for dinner. When they return, the group is free to play games, sing songs and socialise as they gather in the sleeping quarters.

Children are also welcome to make use of the television and DVD player available.

Next morning, after the complimentary breakfast, the group will attend a learning session, which provides an overview of HMS Belfast’s history from convoy duties in icy Arctic conditions at the height of the World War Two; to being one of the first ships to open fire on German positions on D-Day; through to patrolling waters in support of retreating troops during the Korean War.

Students will examine historic photographs, film and sound clips as well as mystery objects to find out more about life at sea.

During the day, HMS Belfast is a learning experience where visitors can explore all nine decks and discover the stories of those who lived and worked on board during World War Two and beyond. By night, visitors are free to explore the river banks before settling down to experience life below deck.

More information about HMS Belfast and Kip in a Ship can be found by visiting

Photo credit: IWM.

School Travel Organiser's Guide