HomeSchool Ship TripsDunera cruise 1964


Dunera cruise 1964 — 10 Comments

  1. I did a similar trip starting from Tilbury to Vigo, Casablanca, Lisbon finishing in Cherbourg. Girls were separated from the boys at each end if the ship, Staff were in the middle to keep it that way – theoretically ;).

    Midnight raids were every night, charge into the girls dorms with wet pillows, tipping the bunk beds out and so on, until my close mate smacked a female teacher over the head, who had decided to sleep with the girls ‘to stop any funny business’. I don’t think i ran as fast in all my life – great times.

    I remember Vigo was extremely hot, as you walked out of the shade from the ship instant melting. With my two friends we decided to get Cokes from a bar, language barrier i used signs, o’dear the barman started peeling the lids of several bottles and i could see us three going to jail.

    Fortunately a local stepped in and sorted it out, asked for a glass if wine for his services – i thought we just had jumped from the fat into the fire, but it only cost an English penny, have to say best penny i ever spent.

    Casablanca was top for me, visiting an open market we were told to be very aware if pick pockets, so we decided to watch out for each other. We must have looked proper daft to the locals, because we were advancing like soldiers watching all corners as though avoiding snipers lol!

    Lisbon we visited a fish canning factory – never will forget the stench. The coach was niot big enough, so about 15 pupils had to go by Taxi. Kids being kids we goaded them to race each other – and they did, whizzing down parallel roads hands permanently on the horns, pedestrians scattering out if the way, what a thrill when your only 12.

    Happy Memories :).

    • Many thanks for this Alan – it’s always most excellent to hear from people with tales to tell! Sounds like you all had a bit of fun!!? Any more tales – always a welcome site on here!

      Bye for now


  2. I went on a school cruise on MS Dunera in April 1964. We visited Malaga, Tunis, Tangier, and Lisbon.

    A memorable experience that has lasted all these years.

    I am still amazed that at 13 years old, we were allowed to wander around Lisbon and Tangier in groups of 3 or 4 unaccompanied by an adult.

    • Hello Jonathan

      Many thanks for your comment here on the MS Dunera site – again comments like this keep the site (and the ship) alive!

      Can you imagine people being allowed to do what you described now??!!

      If you have any further comments we’d love to hear them.

      Many thanks

      Bye for now


    • Hi Jonathan – I was on that same cruise – although I attended a different school, I was allowed to go as my Father was the leader of the group from Weydon County Secondary School. I stuck out like a sore thumb as I had to wear my School Uniform – Navy – whilst Weydon had a Dark Green Uniform.

      I well remember the crossing over the Bay of Biscay – not great – many people being sick but I was ok and there was a jukebox which we played all the time and the record we listened to constantly was The Dave Clark Five’s Glad All Over – all of us beating it that by the end of the cruise, it jumped all the time.

      I loved Lisbon – it was clean, spacious – we visited the Tower of Belem, the Jeronimos Monastery among other sights – my favourite city that we stopped at.

      Next was Tangier – can’t remember us being unaccompanied – we were supposed to have 3 different experiences there – the Bazaar, the European Sector and time out on the Beach – well not for the group I was in – all 3 were to the Grand Bazaar and it was my first experience of the poverty, slums, desperate living conditions etc – I still haven’t forgotten the smells and know how envious we were of other groups bathing in the sea there.

      Tunisia was ok – and was fascinated by the ruins of Carthage.

      Malaga – not much time spent there as we were taken on a coach trip to Granada to visit the Alhambra – another place never forgotten and many years later I revisited it with my family celebrating my mother’s 80th Birthday whilst touring Andalucia and it brought back many memories of my trip on the Dunera. It was a long coach trip there and back in one day though.

      The Dormitories were fairly basic but it was a wonderful experience – not easy for me to fit in initially being from a different school – so no friends with me and of course being the daughter of their teacher leader but an amazing opportunity that I am grateful for having been given.

      • Hello Vivien

        MANY thanks for your notes here – it’s an excellent addition to the site! It’s also things like this that keep the time “alive” for so many people!

        Do please let us know if you receive any comments!

        Bye for now


  3. Just come across this site and memories came flooding back.

    I was a pupil at Stratford grammar and was in the group with Joan who wrote on here and was on the cruise in 1964 where a girl from our school died.

    • Hello Emily – MANY thanks for your comment here!

      These memories always add a great feel to this very old website and keep it alive!

      Do please get back to us is you get any comments or emails! We’d love to hear more

      Bye for now


    • Hi, strange enough speaking to a friend about his younger days as a sea cadet, I mentioned the trip I was on at the time when the girl died during the cruise.

      Having looked up the details of the ship on Wiki I found this page.

      I also went to Deanery High School for girls and was 13 at the time. The song playing at the time whilst waiting in line for our meals was “Rag Doll”.

      I was only a skinny little blonde and my chance to play with a medicine ball on deck gave me the strength eventually to develop.

      Going through the bay of Biscay was a sickly experience, however on returning home there was a bad storm and the sea was choppy, by that time I had my sea legs.

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