Mary Rose

Mary Rose partners with Royal Navy museum in bid to revitalise visitor offer

Article: David Styles | Image: Helen Bonser-Wilton and Dominic Tweddle at a safe social distance in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Following a hugely challenging few months during lockdown, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Mary Rose and National Museum of the Royal Navy have joined forces in an attempt to plot a prosperous post-Covid path.

The collaboration will see the duo work closely together to ensure both have the best possible chance of remaining solvent. This will include the launch of a new Ultimate Explorer joint ticket, designed to reel in the maximum number of maritime aficionados across all the Dockyard sites.

With higher conservation costs than the industry average, the coastal attractions have been hit hard by the pandemic. The National Museum of the Royal Navy has confirmed it was faced with a £6 million funding gap prior to support from the Treasury, while Mary Rose incurred losses of more than £2.2 million due to enforced lockdown closure.

“When you really think about it, how many of us are in mortal peril all the time?”
Helen Bonser-Wilton, chief executive of the Mary Rose

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will reopen on 24th August, equipped with a range of new tickets and fresh branding to signal a new period of collaboration among its resident attractions.

“For both organisations this is about more than joint ticketing, this is a shared collaborative approach which spans both businesses and enables us to work together to operate, market and improve the dockyard,” asserts Helen Bonser-Wilton, chief executive of the Mary Rose. “Our aim is to encourage more people to visit the Dockyard, to visit Portsmouth and to enjoy the incredible naval and maritime history we share.”

In addition to a range of new multi-site tickets, it has been confirmed that unused tickets valid during the lockdown period will be eligible for time-limited reopening upgrade deals in order to maximise return custom.

“Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has changed its offer a number of the times over the years,” adds Dominic Tweddle, director general of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. “What is important is that we want to leave our visitors with extraordinary experiences and lasting memories and that means that we are always reviewing what we have to offer and seeing if we can improve it.”

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard attractions will also coalesce around consistent Covid-19 safety measures, such as a single entry way, pre-booked ticketing and the postponement of group visits. Both Mary Rose and the National Museum of the Royal Navy have also gained Visit Britain’s Good to Go accreditation, ensuring any visitor to one site can be equally confident to visit a neighbouring attraction.