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It’s Hear-atio Nelson as the sounds of Victory are brought to life for tourists

22 December 2016
Visitors to Britain’s most famous warship can experience the hellish maelstrom of Trafalgar as a new audio guide brings the battle – and HMS Victory – to life.

Tourists clambering aboard the legendary man o’war now receive a hand-held audio guide – the first time one has been used in the ship’s nearly 100-year career as a museum.

The guide has been introduced as part of the massive revamp Victory is going through to restore her to her pre-Trafalgar appearance, preserve the ship and give tourists the full story rather than ‘just’ looking around an old warship.

So now visitors – nearly half a million every year – get to experience HMS Victory through Nelson’s ‘ears’ – from joining her on 14 September 1805 through to the decisive battle with the Franco-Spanish Fleet six weeks later.

Nine of Victory’s ship’s company have been chosen to bring the ship to life through the audio guide, including her 36-year-old captain, Thomas Hardy, an 18-year-old midshipman and Nelson himself.

As the story unfolds, tourists move through the ship up to the quarterdeck and poop deck, which was opened to the public for the first time in 2016, before descending into Victory’s bowels via the sick bay, gun decks, and the spot where Nelson died on the orlop deck.

As well as the audio guides – which will be made available in foreign languages in due course – the existing physical guides will remain on board to answer questions and guided tours will continue to run on weekdays between November and March. 

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