Mary Rose and National Museum of the Royal Navy announce collaboration

New joint tickets will offer entry to several maritime heritage attractions for a year
Jonathan Knott
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Helen Bonser-Wilton and Dominic Tweddle
Helen Bonser-Wilton and Dominic Tweddle Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The Mary Rose (MR) historic ship and the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) are to begin selling joint tickets as part of a new commitment to work more closely together.

The venues, both in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, said that when they reopen next week they will “work in unison to offer a simplified and safe day out”.

A range of new tickets are now on sale, including the Ultimate Explorer, which allows people to visit the Mary Rose, NMRN, and several other nearby heritage attractions such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, for a year. Other tickets allow entry to one or three attractions.

The Mary Rose and NMRN will both open on 24 August after closing in March for the coronavirus lockdown. People who already have tickets for either can either use these as sold, or upgrade to the Ultimate Explorer with a 30% discount.

The initiative will also involve closer collaboration on operations and marketing, including an updated brand for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Entry to the dockyard will be streamlined, with a single entry point to support social distancing. All visitors will need to pre-book timed tickets.

Both attractions have been hit badly by the Covid-19 crisis, with the Mary Rose losing £2.2m and NMRN facing a funding gap of £6.35m. In July, NMRN reported that the UK government had indicated it would grant it £5.4m in emergency funding to help stem its losses.

Helen Bonser-Wilton, the chief executive of the Mary Rose, said: “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.”

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Dominic Tweddle, the director general of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has changed its offer a number of the times over the years, and indeed the Mary Rose 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.”

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