Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales to open its doors to the public for the first time this month

BRITAIN’S newest aircraft carrier will be opening up for the public to explore for the very first time, the Royal Navy has announced today.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 1:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 7:50 pm

HMS Prince of Wales will be visiting Liverpool later this month on her maiden voyage to the northern city.

The second of the Royal Navy’s giant new aircraft carriers will arrive there on Friday, February 28 for a week-long visit of celebrations and engagement with the local community.

People will be able to step on board over the weekend – the first time either of the £3.1bn warships has been open to the public.

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HMS Prince of Wales will be opening up to the public for the first time during a visit to Liverpool. Photo: Royal Navy

HMS Prince of Wales is affiliated with the cities of Liverpool and Bristol. She will depart her home in Portsmouth shortly where she is expected to carry out her second phase of sea trials before her trip north.

Captain Darren Houston, Prince of Wales’ commanding officer, said: ‘My ship’s company and I are hugely excited about our first visit to Liverpool. This is an opportunity for us to cement our bond with the city as one of the newest warships in the Royal Navy’s fleet.

‘We’re looking forward to hosting people from the local community on board during our time alongside, and I know we will receive the warmest of welcomes.’

HMS Queen Elizabeth as she passed HMS Prince of Wales in Portsmouth dockyard last year. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Excitement is already building ahead of the historic trip to Liverpool.

Councillor Wendy Simon, the city’s deputy mayor and tourism boss, said: ‘It’s a huge coup for Liverpool to welcome its affiliated ship HMS Prince of Wales on its inaugural, history-making visit.

‘The sheer scale of the ship will be a real spectacle on the River Mersey and is set to attract national and international attention, drawing massive crowds.’

Exact timings for the ship’s arrival in Liverpool, and details of how to obtain tickets to visit the ship, will be announced later this month.

Prince of Wales is the biggest warship ever built by Britain, being slightly heavier and faster than sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

She has a lifespan of 50 years, a crew of more than 700 and can travel 500 miles a day.