A new harmony in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard

Long overdue, the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) and Mary Rose are collaborating on ticketing.

It was always ludicrous that a visit to the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth meant dealing with two separate ticketing systems.

Ludicrous but understandable. The two organisations that share the Historic Dockyard – Mary Rose Trust and the National Museum of the Royal Navy – used to have a common ticket, but years ago it was dropped because they are different types of organisations. The NMRN is a national museum. The Mary Rose is a private museum. One (NMRN) gets support*, the other has to pay its own way and set its own prices (and has suffered horribly under lockdown).

Now COVID-19 has, thankfully, forced the two together again.

The NMRN and the Mary Rose (MR) have announced that they are coming together in collaboration to deliver a new and revitalised offer for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard visitors. When they reopen together on 24 August 2020, this will include a new joint ticket, which will enable visitors to explore all of the dockyard’s ships, galleries and experiences with one, simplified ticket, which went on sale today.

Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Dominic Tweddle says “Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has changed its offer a number of the times over the years, and indeed the Mary Rose Museum has been part of a joint ticket in the past. 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”.

Chief Executive of the Mary Rose, Helen Bonser-Wilton says “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. 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”.

Entrance to the Dockyard will also be simplified with one entry point to the site (hooray!), providing a more streamlined experience for the visitor and helping to manage the social distancing requirements that will need to be in place for the site to reopen. Both organisations have worked closely together to ensure that all the recommended safety measures are in place and have gained accreditation with Visit Britain’s ‘Good to Go’ COVID-19 scheme.

* The NMRN recently received emergency funding from the Treasury to help fill its £6 million funding gap.

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