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16 October 2014
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Forum - transport - Click here to return to the Forum menu page.
School Cruise
There are 10 messages in this section.

Brian Alexander from Edinburgh. Posted 4 May 2004.
We sailed from Grangemouth on 1st June 1966 aboard the cruise ship Dunera. About 20 from our school along with around 500 kids from other schools in the Lothians. First stop was Cherbourg, then on to Lisbon and finaly Amsterdam before returning to Grangemouth three weeks later. The first time I, and no doubt most of the other kids had been abroad, and away from home for so long. The trips, common in the '60's, were called 'Educational Cruises'. Three ships were used, the Dunera, Devonia and Nevassa, beloning to the British India Line. I had a great time, despite almost breaking an ankle, and have so many memories of the trip [including my first experiance of seasickness]. The fact that we returned home safe and sound was a tribute to our long suffering teachers, would kids today be allowed to wander through foreign cities unsupervised? Does anyone else remember 'The School Cruise'?
Jessie Young from Falkirk. Posted 13 May 2004.
Yes, I remember the school educational cruises. I went on the Devonia from Grangemouth at the beginning of August 1966 to Norway. We visited Bergen,which included an 11th century stave church where Vikings worshipped and Greig's house at Troldhaugen. We took a rail trip to Lapland; walked to a glacier and took wonderful photographs of a rainbow over it. The ceremony we had when we crossed the Arctic Circle sticks in my mind. During the voyage, we learnt a few words of the Norwegian language - I still chuckle that we were taught that "stoor sooker" means a vacuum cleaner! We also learned the Norwegian National Anthem in Norwegian - but all I can remember is "Ja vi elsker dette lande" (well it was almost 40 years ago(!)). I too was seasick - it was the bath that did it - you would sink into the water and relax, then watch the water slunge from one end of the bath to the other.
Ah, happy days!

Alan Cameron from Aberdeen. Posted 23 Jun 2004.
I went on a cruise when I was in first year at secondary school in the 60's. Educational Cruises they were called. Every school was allocated a set number of places, and usually those who "deserved" a place..probably by the abscence of any discipline record...were picked after application.

I was on the last trip of the MS Dunera, an older sister ship to the Canberra. Dunera was a troop carrier in the war, and our luxurious accommodation was in the bunk bed dormitories in the bowels of the ship, with communal showers and toilets. All adults and those who wanted to share a ship with several hundred children, were in cabins on the upper decks. On arrival at Dundee from Lanarkshire, this was my first ever sight of a huge liner. I was awestruck. The marshalling of the excited passengers, allocation of dormitories and finally getting them boarded onto the great white ship was surely the plan left over from the war!

Throughout the trip we would be given lectures on the next port of call. Geaography, Industry, what to expect etc. Our ship called at Bergen. I remember well the ship tieing up right in the centre of the old town, with its brightly coloured houses, beside the fish market. Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord, Olden (where we went ashore in the lifeboats!), visiting the Briksdaal Glacier, Narvik and its high level train through the snow fields to Sweden, passing the Lofoten Islands and Tromso slowly, berthed at Hammerfest and met the Suomi (lapps) , and saw their herds of reindeer. Then the highlight of any cruise in Northen waters -the Midnight Sun at the North Cape.

The whole experience of seeing this most beautiful of countries from the sea, made this trip, for me anyway, an outstanding experience I shall never forget. I would love to do the same trip again...but I could never afford it at today's prices. Definitely not £50, which I think was the cost when I went.

I was never sea sick once. Mind you, there were were a lot of green faces as we hit bad weather on the return trip through the North Sea to Grangemouth!

julian harston from belgrade Serbia. Posted 14 Feb 2005.
My father (Colonel Clive Harston) was the first Director of Education ( Head master) of the School Ships with the famous Tam Dalyell as his deputy!
Does anyone remember him?

I have some photos and other souvenirs of the early voyages for anyone who might be interested in a serious collection.

David Sanderson from Lake Forest, CA, USA. Posted 27 Sep 2004.
Yes, I also was on the 1966 Devonia cruise to Norway when I was 13 years old. I went with a group of friends, one of whom was very seasick for the first few days and I still remember how we used to tell him about the greasy bacon, eggs and porridge we had for breakfast in the morning. This would usually have him running to the toilets! Looking back it amazes me that we were allowed to wander unsupervised in a strange city.

When we were in Bergen we got completely lost but fortunately we found someone who could speak English and point us in the right direction. Now that I have a 13 year old of my own I would never allow him the amount of freedom we had on that cruise, times change I guess.

Liz Willis from London. Posted 27 Sep 2004.
I attended Dingwall Academy from 1959 to 1964 and remember the Dunera cruises being spoken of - but they were for the boys only!
By the way, does anyone know whether this was the same 'Dunera' that became notorious as the transport ship for Second World War internees being deported to Australia, upon which they were very badly treated?

Anne Barron from Perth. Posted 6 Jan 2005.
Yes - I well remember my voyage on the Devonia when it was filled with members of many of Scotland's youth organisations. I think the year would have been either 1962/63. I went with a party from the Scottish Girls Training Corps who shared Ross and Rhodes dormitories in the bowels of the ship. I have many memories such as anchoring in Kirkwall Bay to go ashore in the foggiest and wettest summer day in history! The fog and rain was so bad that we kept missing the gangpland on our return in the lifeboats! This was so memorable that the experience was recorded for ever in a song we performed at the obligatory end of cruise concert.

"We went to Kirkwall in wee boats
And believe us, we're not joking
We're just a bunch of silly goats
For all we got was soaking"

The cruise continued with much improved weather and visits to Bergen, Copenhagen and Hamburg but that adventurous day will forever be etched in my heart - also being wakened each morning to the skirl of Sylvia Bolt's pipes startling us out of our bunks!!

Chris Connor from Wishaw Public School. Posted 29 Nov 2005.
I went on a school cruise on the Devonia. I think it was 1966, with a party of P7 from Wishaw Public. We visited Bergen, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. My worst memory was being very seasick, every one was, before we had left the Firth of Clyde. The bunks in the dorm were 3 high! I remember the "master at arms" was a right tyrant who was in charge of discipline. The voyage set out from Greenock and returned to Grangemouth. I am sure it was late summer. Anyone else remember this cruise?

J Setterington from Glasgow. Posted 10 Feb 2006.
Did anyone travel with my dad Dennis Setterington who i understand was on the Dunera with Tam Dalyell (football was involved)?

ruth cameron from livingston. Posted 16 Oct 2006.
i remember my school trip ,back in 1970i think,travelled down from tobermory in mull to leith in edinburgh and caught the uganda for a cruise for 2 week's, i remember it was a great trip,we went to cherbourge in france, corruna in spain,lisbon in portugal,and brugges in belgum,remember going through the bay of biskay it was terrable everyone was being sick hu!was a great holiday though,my sister went a couple of years before me she went on the dunnera and that trip went to denmark,norway and holland,and my brother also went on one after me,his trip went to holland ,france and belgum,his ship was also the uganda,about two or three years later i was lucky enough to go on another school trip to paris with our french teacher at the time,that was for 2 week's and we saw everything,stayed in a big hostel where other children from all over britain came too,that was a long trip,we caught the boat from mull to oban,then the train to london overnight then a bus to ramsgate and then a hoovercraft trip to callis which we were very exited about, and then another long bus trip to paris,so wee travelled for about two day's but had a great holiday.

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