HMS Victory unveils new visitor experience

Date Posted: 23/03/2016

Nelson’s flagship, the HMS Victory, has recently undergone a series of enhancements, which are now ready for groups to explore.

Previously unseen areas of the ship are now open to the public at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in Hampshire.

The ship’s attraction space has been increased by 80 per cent, and visitors can now explore the poop deck and Nelson’s cabin, plus other areas onboard, which are presented as they might have looked during the Battle of Trafalgar.

New sights above and below deck

Visitors will enter the HMS Victory on the gangway, before descending into the captain’s cabin to find out what working ship accommodation would have looked like in Nelson’s time.

Groups can then explore the upper gun deck, where facts about how the crew on board stayed healthy can be learned.

Visitors will also visit Nelson’s cabin – a space where Nelson discussed plans for the Battle of Trafalgar with his officers – before exploring the lower gun deck, the gunner’s store, and the carpenter’s store.

A further highlight for visitors is walking on top of the poop deck, which is the deck that forms the roof of a cabin built in the rear of a ship. Here, groups will be able to see views of the naval base and surrounding Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Myth busting

The enhanced visitor experience also provides groups with the chance to learn that not all the myths about Nelson’s HMS Victory are true.

It’s been previously believed that Nelson slept in a cot, that the drapes on board the ship were sewn by Nelson’s mistress Lady Hamilton, and that the ship’s biscuits supplies were rotten but eaten anyway. These myths, as well as many others, will be exposed in the true retelling of the ship and how life was lived upon it.

Head to the museum

To accompany the improved visitor experience, a new exhibition called Sparring with Time will open in The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Victory Gallery, which is based in the building opposite the HMS Victory.

The exhibition will present the ship as an object and historical artefact, as well as illustrate the ongoing work that’s necessary to preserve the ship as part of a multi-million pound conservation programme.

Group visiting information

Groups visiting the HMS Victory will benefit from special rates for parties of 15 or more.

For further group travel information visit www.historicdockyard.co.uk/groups.

Pictured: Nelson's great cabin. (Photo credit: NMRN).

facebook twitter make as homepage