High School on a Ship
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Daily life

Life aboard a fully-rigged Tall Ship is (probably) unlike anything you have previously experienced. Life at sea is busy. Balancing classes, homework, and watches is a challenging exercise in time management. If you are up to the challenge, you will build routines that you will value for the rest of your life.

Living at Sea

Life onboard a fully-rigged Tall Ship is (probably) unlike anything you have previously experienced. Life at sea is busy. Balancing classes, homework, and watches is a challenging exercise in time management. If you are up to the challenge, you will build routines that you will value for the rest of your life while you have some unforgettable experiences.

Typical day at sea

Here is one example of what a day might look like at sea:

The morning (7 am- 9 am)

Your wake up call comes around 7 am and you begin your morning routine. You stow away your hammock or tidy your bunk, and get ready for breakfast at 7.30 am. After breakfast tidiness watch make sure that the banjer is clear and that we’re ready for colors.

Colors, at 8 am, is a morning where we hoist the ship’s national flag (the Norwegian colors). We use this moment in the day to complete a full check-in. Students, crew and faculty exchange information that covers current location , distance sailed in the last 24 hours, distance to closest shore, weather, activity reports, special occasions and celebrations such as birthdays, holidays and exams.

After colors we clean the ship as part of the daily routine. We clean the banjer, the heads, laundry room and scrub the decks. Each watch will have their own set of responsibilities that rotate.

The day (9 am - 8 pm)

Throughout the day a student attend classes for approximately 4-6 hours. In the same time period they will have at least a two hour day watch. Their individual schedule will keep track on what classes they have at what time, when they have day watch, and when they are assigned as idle hands. More details about day watches and maritime duties is outlined on the shipboard life page.

Fitness activities will vary depending on the conditions. Typically, you can do aerobics, crossfit and yoga on deck, as well as jogging in port, or swimming at anchor. Students will also keep active through sailtraining that can be physically demanding. Popular activities on board are “Polish Workout”, an aerobic workout that follows a polish workout film and Yoga. Creativity is the only limit to what exercises you want to do.

  • The 4 kettlebells we have onboard (8kg and 12kg) are great to use at anchor or in port. The ship will roll to much to make an efficient use of them while underway.
  • Fenders can be used as stability balls.
  • You can consult the maritime crew in setting up blocks and create suspension exercises.
  • Bodyweight exercises are the best exercises that you can do while we are sailing.

The night (10 pm – 7 am)

Lights out and gender spaces start at 10 pm. The banjer is to be quiet, and the nooks are only open to students to want to spend some additional time on school work. Gender spaces means that the girls can only stay on the port side of the banjer while the boys only can stay on the starboard side of the banjer. Some students will wake up and go to bed during the night as they perform their night watches. 


Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are important parts of the day. Our cooks on board plan the meals with the intention of creating a healthy and balanced diet, and meals are designed to let students have energy to get through the day. Students who are vegetarian or have dietary restrictions are asked to notify the medic and the cooks will accommodate your needs. The students help in the preparation of every meal when they are on galley duty.

Clubs and extra curriculars

Most of your spare time at sea is spent on socializing with your friends and the occasional game night, movie night on deck or swim call. We encourage initiative and responsibility. Most of the clubs are therefore organized by the students and vary from year to year. What clubs there are and how often they meet depends on student initiative. Common clubs have been baking club where they use the galley to bake for other students, yearbook club that is central in developing the yearbook and holiday club that plans events on major holidays. If you have an idea of a club you would like to organize or take part in make sure to mention it and take initiative.


Student Council and Watch Foremen

Students may also run for student council where three representatives are elected; a president, a vice president and a secretary. Together with one representative of each watch (watch foremen) they constitute student council. The purpose of  student council is to coordinate student activities, to liaise with the faculty and maritime staff on issues that are important to the students and to assist in the overall good functioning of our tall ship school community.

The foreman of the watch is the student who is “in charge” of the watch. Students are foremen on a rotating basis, one week at a time. The foremen are the spokesperson for the watch. They make the announcements at muster, represent the watch in the student council, lead their watch at muster, lead handovers, organize cleaning and lead wake ups for their own watch.

The foreman system is an important part of making sure that the shipboard school community functions and gives the students a real life opportunity to exercise leadership.

Shore Leave

In port you’ll have more time to explore new cities and countries. When you’re not taking part in port activities or doing lab work, you will have time for relaxation and exploration with your friends, or to prepare some of you academic work. The balance, approximately 50% of available time, is intended for students, to explore the culture and rhythm of a new environment, enjoy local food, visit museums, enjoy local beach recreation, such as swimming and snorkeling or hiking where the opportunity presents itself. This will also be a valuable time to prepare some of your assignments and for seniors to finish up college applications. Reasonable curfew is enforced aboard the vessel to ensure students are safe, well-rested and alert for all activities. 

While in port, gangway duty replace day watch. A student will have a set hours of gangway watch throughout the year which they must complete, so when and for how long a gangway watch may be will vary from student to student, and from port to port. Night watches are also reduced in port.

While in port we place certain expectations on the students. Students must go in groups of at least four to ensure that if something happens, no one will be left alone.  To minimize the risk of injury to our students, we also enforce the policy that no motorized vehicles are to be driven by students at any time or under any circumstance. This includes ATVs and scooters. We also expect that students do not engage in high-risk activities such as sky-diving, bungee-jumping etc. The consequence for not upholding these expectations (and thus putting yourself or others at risk) may be loss of shore leave privileges. Some activities, which do not form part of the school program (such as scuba diving) may be permitted if you fill out the Activity waiver which you find on the Practical information page.