The visitor experience onboard HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as Nelson’s famous flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar is now brought alive with a hand-held audio guide for the first time in the ship’s history.
The launch concludes a year that has seen a new look, new colours and a new visitor route around probably the world’s most famous ship.
Launched just in time for the Christmas holiday period visitors now get to experience HMS Victory through Nelson’s eyes, when the drama of the battle of Trafalgar unfolds, deck-by-deck, hour by hour, as the ship sets sail from Portsmouth.
We meet a cast of nine characters from the crew from Dorset-born Captain Thomas Masterton Hardy, aged 36 to 18-year old Midshipman John Pollard to the Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson that led the fleet to victory, but paid the ultimate price in doing so.
As visitors join the ship it is September 14th, 1805. The Historic Ships team at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, which now runs the ship, have worked hard to make the ship look just as she did at the time of Trafalgar, from the colours she’s painted in to the food on the mess tables.
Visitors ascend to the Quarterdeck and poop deck – the latter open to the public for the first time this year. In fact, with the new route opened earlier this year, there is nearly 80% more of the ship for visitors to explore.
The scene is set for visitors follow in the footsteps of Nelson and his crew through the sick bay, gun decks, the site of Nelson’s death on the orlop deck and then further down into the hold before they leave the ship through the dry dock she has sat in since 1922, again another first.