Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance can I book?
HMS Belfast is a historic site and requires careful stewardship in order to preserve it for future generations, so maintenance work and changes to exhibition spaces and facilities have to be scheduled in to our plans. In addition, external events such as London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games means organising our offer is an extremely complex task. The museum reviews its prices annually and any increases are implemented in January of each year. We release dates only once all these factors have been confirmed.
I can’t find the date I want. Can I call you?
The online calendar shows all available dates. If you cannot find the date you want either we have not yet released the dates, the date is unavailable because of maintenance or another event, the date is already sold out, or it is too late to book. Tickets are available for online purchase up to midnight six weeks prior to the visit date. If the dates you are hoping for have not yet been released please check the calendar regularly. We are not able to keep a register of enquiries.
Can I make a provisional booking?
All available dates are shown on the online calendar and can be reserved with a non-refundable deposit. We cannot guarantee that any date not shown on the calendar will be available and therefore we are not able to accept provisional bookings.
How do I secure a visit date?
All available dates will show on the online calendar. You will need a credit or debit card to pay the non-refundable, non- transferable deposit. Please see our Terms and Conditions for the current deposit price.
How do I contact the Kip in a Ship Booking team?
You can contact us using email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are not able to accept enquiries by phone or fax.
How much does Kip in a Ship cost?
We have a standard cost per person which includes breakfast. Any additional guests added within four weeks of the visit date are charged an increased rate. Please see our Terms and Conditions for current prices.
We’re a scout group from Canada. We are visiting the UK next year and would love to stay on board. Are overseas groups allowed?
We are able to offer Kip in a Ship to Overseas Groups with English as a first language. Please email email@example.com if you are not sure.
We’re visiting London next year and my friend heard you can sleep on HMS Belfast. Your website only mentions groups. Can we make individual bookings?
The Kip on a Ship offer we provide at present is only suitable for school and youth groups. We are not able to accept bookings from families or individuals. The minimum group size is 20.
We’re from a primary school and we only have one adult male teacher. Can we bring five female teachers and one male teacher? We’ve asked the parents and they are happy for him to sleep in the mess deck with the boys.
Our Child Protection guidelines restrict us from allowing adults to share the mess decks with children and young adults. All the adults must sleep in the two-adult cabins which each have three bunks.
We have children with special needs. Can you accommodate them?
We will do our best to accommodate you, but because the mess decks can only be accessed down steep ladders Kip in a Ship is not suitable for anyone in a wheelchair. Before booking please contact us by email with details of the special needs so that we can understand your needs and discuss appropriate solutions.
Our ratio requirement is different to HMS Belfast so we need to bring extra adults. Is there somewhere else on board they can sleep?
You must have at one adult for every ten children. We are not able to accommodate more than six adults on board. Any extra adults with your party will need to stay in nearby accommodation. All adults must sleep in the adult cabins - we do not allow adults to share the children’s mess decks.
I’m a teacher and would like to bring a year three class to stay on board. However, some of the children are only seven. Is this ok?
Due to the nature of the site we are not able to allow children under the age of eight to stay on board.
We’re a guide group with young group leaders. We can only bring four adults. Can we make the ratios by bringing two 18-year-old group leaders?
Unfortunately, we are not able to class 16-18-year-olds as supervising adults on board HMS Belfast. All group leaders must be over 18.
Do we share the Kip on Ship accommodation with anybody else?
You have sole use of the accommodation from 6pm to 9am the following morning; we do not book more than one group to stay on board. Some evenings there may be corporate functions taking place in another section of the ship; guests leave at 11pm.
I’ve started filling in my Excel form but I’m not sure how many children want to come. What should I do?
We need the completed Excel sheet with all your confirmed booking details at least six weeks before your visit date. While we appreciate this can be difficult, we have to send all the information to our Finance Department so we can invoice you in good time. We also need to organise catering, a concierge and a learning officer for your morning presentation.
What happens if I fill in the form then one of the children becomes ill and can’t come?
You will be charged for the number of guests you requested on your form. However, we are able to change names on the register up until 24 hours before your visit. There is no charge for a name change. Please be aware that we cannot change catering requirements at this stage.
We are visiting in two weeks’ time and a new child has joined our school. It would a shame for her to miss out on the trip. Can she come?
We will have already sent all your details to our Finance Department; you may well have already been invoiced and paid for your visit. We can add additional guests to your booking, provided you do not exceed the maximum capacity and meet our required ratio of 1:10.This will be invoiced separately and the extra guest will be charged a premium rate per person. Please see our Terms and Conditions for current prices.
Can we bring extra guests?
Any additional guests who arrive on the night may be refused entrance. If we can accommodate the extra guest and you do not exceed the maximum capacity and meet our required ratio of 1:10 they will be charged a premium rate. Please see our Terms and Conditions for current prices.
What do we need to bring with us?
You will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow case and towel, as well as personal items such as toiletries. The accommodation is accessed by steep ladders, so please consider how much luggage you can manage.
What do we need to bring with us?
Please visit our Visitor Information page for travel information.
Is there parking nearby?
Please visit our Visitor Information page for travel information.
We are going to the theatre in the evening so want to arrive at lunchtime and shower and change. Is this possible?
Your booking starts at 6pm when your concierge comes on duty and delivers your health and safety brief. Until that time groups cannot access the mess decks.
Can we explore the ship during our stay?
You are welcome to explore HMS Belfast at any time during normal opening hours. Once the ship has closed to the public we often carry out conservation work. Therefore, Kip in a Ship guests must stay in the mess decks or go ashore.
Are we allowed to go back ashore later in the evening?
You are welcome to leave HMS Belfast during the evening. Your concierge will escort you from the ship. When you wish to return please call the concierge and they will meet you on the quayside and escort your group back on board. We insist that the latest you return is midnight. Please note if not all your group wish to leave, you must make sure that the 1:10 ratio of adults to children remains with the group left on board.
How do I contact our concierge?
Your concierge stays on board in a cabin near to the accommodation to assist your group coming on board and leaving while the ship is closed. They are also on board to assist with safe evacuation in the case of an emergency alarm. In addition, there are two general ship security guards on board all night. There is a telephone in the group leader’s cabin where you can telephone your concierge directly. You will also be given a mobile telephone to contact them on for the night of your stay only.
Can you recommend any cheap restaurants nearby?
Restaurants and cafés are continually opening and changing within the area. Once you have found a restaurant, we recommend you call them to check they are able to accommodate a large group.
We’re on a strict budget. Can we get takeaway and stay on board?
We are not able to provide food preparation, storage or dining facilities. You can order takeaway if you wish; we would recommend pizza as it is easy to transport and leaves less mess than other takeaways. Let your concierge know you are ordering takeaway. They will then escort you to the Quarter Deck once the delivery arrives. There are no bins, so please be aware that the leftovers may be with you in the mess decks overnight.
Is there a TV?
There is a TV and DVD player in one of the mess decks. You are welcome to bring DVDs with you to watch during your stay. The TV is for playing DVDs only and cannot receive live programmes.
I’m the group leader and emergency contact. Is there somewhere I can charge my mobile phone?
There are power points in the leaders’ cabins.
Are there showers?
Yes there are two toilets and two showers for the children in each mess deck. There is also another toilet and shower for the adult cabin. Please bring your own soap, shampoo and towels.
What is included in the breakfast?
Breakfast is served in the Walrus Café at 8am and consists of cereal, toast, fruit juice and fruit (tea/coffee for adults only). Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements. We are not able to offer breakfast at any other time as our catering staff need to prepare for ship opening time of 10am.
What packed lunches do you offer?
Groups can pre-order packed lunches to pick up at 10am from the Walrus Café. Packed lunch consists of one sandwich with a choice of five fillings on white bread (cheese, ham, cheese and ham, tuna, or egg and cress), one piece of fresh fruit, one packet of crisps, one carton of juice drink, one mini muffin and one chocolate bar. If an item is not available, a suitable equivalent will be offered.
What’s in the goody bags?
Goody bags containing a selection of souvenirs from HMS Belfast shop can be pre-booked. Available options are as follows: Sailor's Goody Bag Admiral's Goody Bag Captain's Goody Bag For a list of current souvenir selections in each bag email firstname.lastname@example.org. If an item is not available, a suitable equivalent will be offered.
One of our children takes medicine which needs to be refrigerated. I realise there’s no fridge in the mess decks so can we store it in the café fridge?
We have 2 small lockable fridges in the mess decks for medicines only. Please let us know if you wish to use the fridges.
We’re visiting Tower of London the morning after our Kip in a Ship sleepover. Can we leave our luggage and pick it up later?
We have a secure cupboard for groups to leave luggage. You can drop-off and pick up luggage at pre-set times and subject to staff availability.
We’re coming on a Wednesday and have a learning session in the classroom the following morning at 9am. What is this about?
Your HMS Belfast learning session is a way of enhancing your visit. The session will introduce your group to just a few of the fantastic stories of the men who served on board and help them understand what the living conditions were like on board.
Can we have our Kip in a Ship learning session in the afternoon? We’re visiting Houses of Parliament in the morning.
We reserve the classroom at 9am specifically for Kip in a Ship groups. We only have one classroom and this is used by other groups for learning sessions the rest of the day.
Do you do tours of the ship?
We do not offer guided tours of the HMS Belfast as part of your Kip in a Ship booking. However, you are welcome to look round on a self-guided basis during normal visitor times.
How do I pay?
You will be invoiced within four weeks of your visit date. Your invoice will list all the items you have specified on your booking confirmation form, including any lunches and goody bags less your deposit. It will also show the VAT. You can pay by BACS or by cheque. Full details can be found on the invoice.
We are a school group so why are we charged VAT?
The education service is provided by the Imperial War Museum Trading Company, which is a separate legal entity and is not a public body.
Do you have a risk assessment for Kip in a Ship that we can use?
We provide risk identification information on our website. You can use this to help you write your risk assessment. We also advise group leaders to make a preliminary visit to the HMS Belfast before your Kip in a Ship visit.
How do I cancel?
All cancellations must be in writing. Please email email@example.com to cancel your booking. We are not able to refund deposits. If you cancel less than four weeks prior to your arrival you will be invoiced for the full amount.
What do I do if I have a query?
Please read our Terms and Conditions and FAQs carefully. If you have further questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We endeavour to answer all email queries within two working days. We are not able to deal with queries by phone or fax.