I have just finished looking in the loft for a book and I came across my logbook of a cruise in 1962 to the Baltic and wondered what happened to the ship. I immediately thought of the web, went to Google and typed in M.S. Dunera and your site was top of the list!My log book is empty except for an entry on the first day.” June 22nd North coast of Holland 34 knots, 251 miles.” That’s it!

I have just read both reports from David and Norman and mine will not be anywhere as detailed as theirs but any way here goes.

My memories start with my parents saying goodbye to me as I boarded the train at Christchurch , which was in Hampshire then. I still have the British Transport Commission chit to cover my journey from Christchurch to Waterloo via Sway. 2nd Class £1.16.09.

The Ship sailed from Tilbury so presumably I must have met a coach which collected those youths who were going on the Hampshire County Council’s Young People’s Cruise to the Baltic, which I heard about at my local youth club.

I don’t remember details about leaving the docks, but I remember I was in a bottom bunk, that there was the smell of diesel etc. and that I wasn’t seasick. It must have been a fairly calm cruise. I did hear that others were sick but I wasn’t aware of them personally.

The cruise was to visit Stockholm, Leningrad (now known by its original name of St. Petersburg), Helsinki and Copenhagen. The outward journey included passage through the Kiel Canal. This took place at night, I think, and the next day there was an announcement that due to some kind of mishap during the passage through the canal the ship could only travel at reduced speed. The knock on affect of this was that the visit to Helsinki was not now taking place.

There is one incident I remember. I was awoken one night by giggling and voices – our boys’ dormitory was invaded by some girls! I can report that nothing untoward occurred. In fact the girls had gone as quickly as they appeared. I think there was a notice given over the tannoy that girls and boys are not to invade the others dorm!

I had a box camera with me and took some photos of the ship and places we visited. I have attached two photos of parts of the ship plus a postcard view of the ship at Lisbon, or some exotic port, from my wife’s album…….photos

I have a paper sick bag from the cruise that my dormitory and the girls which we met have all signed and some have given their home address and phone numbers. There are some kind comments as well. The problem is that as they are written in pencil and are now a bit faint and hard to read. This bag was signed by some folks from the Fareham area at the time – I wonder if they remember??

In Copenhagen I bought four small wooden dolls painted in traditional costumes. I still have the dolls and receipt!

Finally, because of the accident in the Kiel canal we arrived a day late and not at Tilbury as planned but at Immingham, near Grimsby! At the time it didn’t bother me as all the travel arrangements to get us to Hampshire had been organised. There were 900 Hampshire young people on the cruise, 250 were young people who had left school: I would have been in this bunch. My parents received the same information about times and trains as I did so the parents were kept informed of what was happening.

My wife who was living in Warwickshire then has also travelled on the Dunera, but in May the following year – 1963. This was to visit Gibraltar , Lisbon and La Coruna . We didn’t meet until 1967 shortly after her family had moved to Christchurch……more here

I now live near the Bournemouth/Poole border with my wife. We have three sons: Two at home, one of whom is at Teesside University, and the third in Luxembourg.

My Mother still lives in Christchurch.

Then aged 17 and three-quarters
Anson Dormitory
21st June 1962
M.S. Dunera.


Bernard’s trip on the MS Dunera – June 22nd 1962 — 7 Comments

  1. The film by Southern Television is available from the Wessex Film and Audio archives in Winchester. I spent a long time trying to track down a copy and I believe that is the only copy now available. I paid £16 last year and it was well worth it as I was also on that cruise and it brought back many memories. I was in a group from Cowplain Secondary Boys School.

    • Thanks for your additions here!! Looks like the site could be working ok!!! This film you mention is something I had not heard about. Nothing on YouTube about it, I suppose??
      Have an excellent day

      • Hi Mike,

        No not on Youtube.

        I had to track down who had the rights to all the old Southern TV film archive and then to find out if they had a copy. They did not have a copy and they thought it had been lost as a lot of old STV films had been lost or destroyed, but suggested I contacted the film archive in Winchester and bingo they had a copy. They then did a copy for me and will do for anyone who wants one.

        I also remember there was some magazine reporters on board but cannot remember the magazine.

        I think there was a lot of interest as it was the first school trip to a Comunist country.


  2. Pingback:I was on the Baltic Cruise in 1962 | MS Dunera, Troop Ship To School Ship

  3. I’ve been searching for the 1962 trip to Leningrad.

    I was on it.thanks for the archive information!

    I was at Danemark Secondary school Winchester.

    Some people were home sick in my dorm. Having the trip extended because of the loss of use of the one of two propellers was great news for me.

    Russia blew my mind. The Hermitage was shut because it was Monday. Nobody had checked?

    I did get to the ballet in the evening. Queues for wool and many ruts in the roads. Women using pneumatic drills on the repairs! Hundreds of kids to greet us. Films confiscated. Guards and very long wait for clearance.

    All unforgettably thrilling.

    I was born late 1946

    • Hello Helen

      MANY thanks for your comments and the descritiption of what happened on your journey!! It has been a great thing to hear all the stories that have been shared on this site!

      If you get any responses do please share here again!

      Many thanks

      Very best wishes


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