Life On Board

This program asks students to consider the experience of life on board for migrants voyaging by ship from England to South Australia in 1836; Where did they sleep, what did they eat and drink, how did they cope with illness on board, and how did they while away the long days on deck? We also explore the changing motivations for migrating over time and the evolution of sea travel from sailing ships through to steam and modern cruise liners.

Suitability: Can be adapted for Years 4 – 6

Cost: $10 per student (teachers and adults are free within a 1:5 ratio)

Availability: Monday – Friday (subject to availability)

Program includes:

  • Participation in a workshop to learn about the living conditions faced by migrants voyaging by ship from England.
  • Understanding and identifying the reason people migrate.
  • Investigate and understand the evolution of sea travel from sailing ships through to steam and modern cruise liners.
  • Take part a range of deck games that passengers may have played to pass the time onboard.

Teacher Resources:

Please print the following resources for your visit:

Australian Curriculum: History

Historical skills, knowledge, and understanding

Year 4:

Locate relevant information from sources provided.

Identify different points of view.

Year 5:

The reasons people migrated to Australia from Europe and the experiences and contributions of a particular migrant group within a colony.

Year 6:

Stories of groups of people who migrated to Australia and the reasons they migrated.


Play the Life on Board Kahoot! quiz here! 


The History Trust’s South Australian Maritime Museum is committed to keeping our visitors, our people and our volunteers safe.

As coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, our full range of education programs will return. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to keep you and other visitors COVIDSafe. Please continue to contact us with education inquiries and stay in touch to find out about our digital education programs as they develop.