Dana Hall brings back a modified Harbor Cruise

This year, Dana Hall brought back Harbor Cruise after putting it on hold last year due to the Covid pandemic. Taking place in Boston Harbor, this fall tradition gives new and returning students the chance to spend time with their friends in the Dana Hall community and the opportunity to make new friends. While this year’s Harbor Cruise looked different than it has in previous years because of Covid-19, Ms. Katherine Bradley, Head of School, said that “our goal is to have as many of the traditions as possible, in the way that they’ve always been conducted, as long as we can keep everybody safe and healthy.

Even though things are beginning to return to normal this year, Covid-19 is still a concern for Dana Hall administrators. Many middle schoolers, particularly those in 5th and 6th grade, have yet to be vaccinated, as the Pfizer vaccine had only been approved for ages 12 and up at the start of the school year. Additionally, some international students weren’t able to be fully vaccinated by the time of the cruise, as Dana Hall held a vaccination clinic only a week prior to the event. 

For this reason, some speculated that Harbor Cruise might be postponed. However, Ms. Bradley stated that “our hope had always been for it to be in the fall, when it traditionally has been, so it can help us in community building.” Nevertheless, Covid-19 has been the backdrop for the majority of Dana Hall’s decisions this year, and Harbor Cruise was no exception. According to Ms. Bradley, Harbor Cruise was not mandatory, as it has been in previous years. “We allowed those who had only had one vaccine to opt out if that was how they felt safest.” 

Talia Loevy-Reyes ‘23 said they chose not to go this year because of “the magnitude of Covid-19 and worries about both my family’s and my health and safety.” They were also “concerned about people removing their masks to eat and for photos.”

Madi Kastner ‘23,who attended Harbor Cruise, said that for the most part, “people were responsibly following Covid restrictions.” On the upper deck, which was an open space, some took their masks off for photos, but people did a good job masking on the lower decks. She added that “food was individually wrapped [this year], but the cookies were good.”

Harbor Cruise has been in place since 1987, and many people consider it, along with other traditions, an integral part of the Dana Hall experience. Although Covid has changed the way Dana Hall plans events, Ms. Bradley stated that it is “really important to our whole community to bring back our traditions.”

Image Source: Mr. Patrick Ahn

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