These Terms and Conditions are designed to ensure groups have a safe and enjoyable stay and are revised on a regular basis. Please read them carefully. You must agree to them before making your reservation and when confirming your booking by completing the relevant confirmation boxes. We reserve the right to reject reservations from groups that do not meet these Terms and Conditions. Deposits will not be refunded. HMS Belfast is an historic ship and maintenance work may be required at short notice.

Please take care to check you have selected the correct date and correct number of nights as once your order has been completed, payment cannot be refunded.

Kip in a Ship Prices
  • £50.00 per person per night, including breakfast.
  • £70.00 per person per night for additional guests booked within four weeks of the visit date.
  • Packed lunches £6.50
  • Gift bags £5.00
  • Evening Activity, Mess Deck Life add on £12.50 per person
    Who can Book?

    Kip in a Ship is only available to UK schools, international schools with English as a first language and youth groups with children aged 7-18. We are unable to accept bookings from UK higher education groups, overseas schools/groups, families or individuals. We can accommodate a maximum of 52 children plus six adults. The minimum charge is for 20 participants. (Groups with fewer than 20 participants will be subject to an under occupancy supplement.)

    Sleeping Accommodation

    The accommodation is divided into two mess decks, separated by a door. Each mess deck has 26 1950s-style bunks (not hammocks) with mattresses and pillows, two toilets and two showers for children, and a group leader cabin containing three bunks with mattresses and pillows, a shower and a toilet.

    If you are bringing a mixed-gender group the maximum number of guests we can accommodate is 26 girls and 26 boys. Every guest (adults and children) will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillowcase and personal items including towels and toiletries. For Child Protection, safety and supervision reasons group leaders must sleep in the adult cabins.


    We require one group leader supervising adult for every ten children. All group leaders must be adults aged 18 and older who have undergone a DBS check, (disclosure barring service). Group leaders must be appropriate to the gender of the children i.e. If a group includes girls then there must be at least one female group leader, and vice versa.

    Each group will have an overnight concierge who will assist and advise them throughout their stay. The concierge is responsible for the health and safety of the group and any instructions they issue must be followed immediately. All instructions will be given in English. The group leaders remain responsible for the supervision of group members at all times.


    Access to the mess decks is by steep ladder only. Unfortunately, Kip in a Ship is not suitable for wheelchair users or anyone not able to ascend/descend a ladder unaided.

    If you have children with special needs please email us prior to making a reservation to see if we are able to meet your requirements.

    All guests should wear appropriate clothing. We recommend trousers and flat shoes. We are not able to help carry luggage up/down the ladders and therefore suggest bag sizes are kept to a minimum. Suitcases are not permitted on board HMS Belfast.

    Once the ship has closed to the public (5pm during winter opening times and 6pm during summer opening times) you will be required to stay within the mess decks when on board. If you would like to go ashore you will be escorted off and back onto the ship by your concierge.

    There are two small lockable fridges on the mess decks. These are for the use of Group Leaders to keep medication or special dietary foods cool only. We do not offer a guarantee as to the storage temperature and Group Leaders must take responsibility for ensuring items are kept safely and securely and disposed of correctly.


    A kettle, tea, coffee, milk and sugar are provided in the adult cabins. There are no facilities within the mess decks for evening meals, food preparation or cold storage. You may bring non-perishable snacks. However, we would advise that you visit one of the many local restaurants for dinner.

    Breakfast is served in the café at 8am. You can notify us of any special dietary requirements on your booking confirmation form. Full packed lunches and/or sandwiches can be ordered at an extra cost.

    How to Book

    All group leaders are advised to make a preliminary visit to the ship during public opening hours only. Access to the Kip in a Ship mess decks is limited and is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm by appointment only. Please email [email protected]  with a requested date and time. We will send group leaders two complimentary tickets and meet you to show you around and answer any questions.

    Group Leaders must comply with Health and Safety regulations and should consult the Risk Identification section for information regarding HMS Belfast’s environment. They should also reference the Kip in a Ship Risk Register  in order to complete their own risk assessment.

    All Kip in a Ship reservations must be made online. A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of £100 must be made by credit or debit card to secure your visit date. The deposit will be deducted from your final bill.

    We are not able to make provisional bookings or take any booking via telephone, fax or email.

    You will receive an email acknowledgement confirming your deposit payment and visit date and giving you a booking reference. Please email us on [email protected]  if you don’t receive this.

    We will contact you via email approximately eight weeks before your booking date with an Excel form for you to complete to confirm all the booking details:

    • Number and gender of leaders and children
    • Names of leaders
    • Names and ages of children
    • Arrival and departure time
    • Packed lunch requirements with any dietary requirements
    • Luggage storage requirements
    Your Visit

    Your Kip in a Ship booking is from 6pm to 9am the following morning. Groups can arrive on the day of their booking during HMS Belfast opening hours for a self-guided tour of the ship only. Please note that HMS Belfast closes to the public at 5pm during winter and groups may be asked to vacate the ship until their booking starts at 6pm. Groups can only access the mess decks after their booking begins at 6pm and when they have received a full health and safety brief from their concierge.

    Luggage may be stored on board in a secure area at pre-set times and according to staff availability.

    All children must be under the direct supervision of their group leaders (ratio 1:10) at all times. Group leaders must ensure that following the closure of the ship to the general public the group remains either within the Kip in a Ship mess deck or ashore.

    All group members must arrive and depart at the same time. Anyone arriving or departing when the ship is closed to the public must be accompanied to/from the shore by the concierge.

    An evening activity, Mess Deck Life, is offered at an additional charge. Kippers can design their own 'mess mug' and have an exclusive private tour of the ship. Minimum of 15 children per activity.

    After breakfast, groups are offered a free learning session* in our classroom at 9am on the morning following their sleepover. *Please be advised, although we do our upmost to provide a session to every group, occasionally due to staffing resource we may not be able to provide this complimentary session

    Please ensure prompt arrival if an evening activity has been booked. IWM cannot accept liability for reduced service or a shorter evening session owing to late arrival of the group.


    The final balance will be calculated four weeks prior to the visit date. You will be charged for all guests and additional items listed on the booking confirmation form, and an invoice will be issued by email. We are not able to refund any charges for individual guests or groups who do not arrive.

    We will endeavour to accommodate late notice changes but any additional guests added within four weeks of the arrival date, including anyone not on the register who arrives on the night, will be charged at a premium rate - see prices for details.

    All payments must be made in one single payment either by credit/debit card, BACS or cheque made payable to Imperial War Museum Trading Company Limited. Cheques must be sent with the remittance advice to:

    The Cashier, Finance Office
    Imperial War Museum
    Lambeth Road
    London SE1 6HZ

    We are not able to accept payment on arrival. Non-payment of invoices will result in future bookings being declined to all IWM branches. Any future reservation deposits paid online will not be refunded and the Kip in a Ship reservation will not be honoured.


    All cancellations must be in writing and emailed to [email protected]. Cancellations received in writing more than four weeks prior to arrival will not be invoiced. Deposits will not be refunded. Cancellations received in writing within four weeks of arrival must be paid in full. Deposits will not be refunded.

    In the case where IWM needs to cancel for unforseen circumstances - for example, an unplanned closure due to severe property damage or unforseen maintenance issues, IWM will refund all payments made. Compensation for travel is not included. 

    In the case where there are serious incidents, natural disasters or extreme weather conditions in the location, IWM has a separate refund and cancellation policy.

    Conduct and Discipline

    The Group Leader is responsible for the safety and welfare of their group members at all times and must comply with Health & Safety regulations. The Group Leader should carry out a full and ongoing risk assessment as appropriate to the specific needs of their group.The Group Leader will be responsible for the supervision and behaviour of the Kip in a Ship guests at all times. The Group Leader will ensure that nothing occurs which constitutes a breach of the law or in any way causes a nuisance. The Group Leader is responsible for any damage to the ship and or loss/damage to any items on board. The group will be invoiced for any loss/damage and may be refused future bookings.

    Smoking is not permitted in any part of the ship. Alcohol is not permitted on any part of the ship. HMS Belfast reserves the right to refuse entry to individuals or groups who appear to be intoxicated.

    HMS Belfast reserves the right to refuse a Kip in a Ship booking.

    HMS Belfast reserves the right to refuse admissions.

    HMS Belfast reserves the right to remove any guest from the ship at anytime.

    HMS Belfast reserves the right to cancel any Kip in a Ship booking.


    Please read our FAQs before contacting us.

    Any queries should be emailed to [email protected]. We endeavour to answer all emails within two working days.

    These Terms and Conditions were last updated in June 2017.