Frequently Asked Questions
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the home of 12 ships, museums and attractions including the Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Since August 2020 its visitor operations have been managed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy alongside the Mary Rose Trust.
This document provides answers to frequently asked questions in related to the new operational arrangement and the newly introduced ticketing offer. It also provides information for visitors affected by the COVID-19 closure and/or unsure about steps that have been taken to reopen the site to the public.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Reopening
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the Mary Rose Museum will reopen to the public on Monday 24 August 2020. They will reopen together as part of a new collaboration which will see both organisations working together and offering a new joint ticket.
The site will return to 7 days a week opening from 10am – 4pm.
We have thought carefully about what elements of the site we can open safely and in line with government guidance and we believe that most of the site will available.
The areas of the site that will not be available are:
- Actions Stations
- Horrible Histories Pirates exhibition
- Laser Quest Portsmouth
- The Waterbus Service
In addition the HMS Victory exhibition remains closed as we complete a new exhibition telling the incredible story of the world's most famous warship. We will have the majority of our displays and interactives open but will be putting in place additional hygiene and cleaning programmes. Where we do not feel this is possible, we may have to shut off small areas.
Unfortunately, we do not believe we can operate the Waterbus service in a socially distant way. Therefore visitors who wish to visit the Portsmouth and Gosport sites will have to travel there by car. We also advise visitors to book a separate time slot for visits to the Submarine Museum and the Explosion Museum
We appreciate that it would be challenging to visit both sites in a day but we remind visitors that their Three Attraction Explorer and Ultimate Explorer passes are valid for up to a year. We hope to relaunch the Waterbus service as soon as it is safe to do so.
The Fleet Air Arm Museum will open on Friday 14 August 2020. The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool opens on Friday 4 September. Unfortunately, HMS Caroline will not be reopening until 2021. Please keep an eye on the NMRN website for further details
Pre-booking is essential for all of NMRN’s sites and can be booked at nmrn.org.uk/book-your-visit
Mary Rose or Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Existing Ticket Holders
Although your ticket has expired, we are adding an extension to your ticket to account for the time the site has been closed.
This extension will being from the day the site closed and will run until the expiry day of your ticket. So if you had 30 days still to run on your ticket, 30 days will be added to it, from our reopening date.
To make your ticket valid and apply the new expiry date, you will need to validate it. You will be contacted by email with details on how to validate your ticket in order to claim the extension, or further details can be found at www.historicdockyard.co.uk/book-your-visit
Yes, your ticket will be extended for the period of time that the site has been closed.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard was closed for a total of 150 days and therefore 150 days has been added to your ticket.
Mary Rose Museum was closed for a total of 153 days and therefore 153 days has been added to your ticket.
To make your ticket valid and apply the new expiry date, you will need to validate it. You will be contacted by email with details on how to validate your ticket in order to claim the extension, or further details can be found at www.historicdockyard.co.uk/book-your-return-visit
All visitors are required to book a date and time that they intend to visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, whether they have a ticket of not. This is so that we can manage the number of visitors on site and adhere to social distancing requirements.
To book a visit you will first need to validate your existing ticket so that we can add an extension to it which correlates to the number of days that the site was closed (For Portsmouth Historic Dockyard 150 and for Mary Rose Museum 153).
You will be contacted by email with details on how to validate your ticket in order to claim the extension, or further details can be found at www.nmrn.org.uk/book-your-return-visit
For Portsmouth Historic Dockyard visitors, you will need to enter the long 16 digit ticket number found on your ticket, as well as your first name, last name and postcode in order for us to match you to our database.
For Mary Rose Museum visitors, you will need to enter the long 16 digit ticket number found on your ticket, as well as your first name, last name and postcode in order for us to match you to our database.
Once you have input that information, we will send you a confirmation email to confirm that your ticket has been validated and an extension added. In that email you will receive a link which will take you through to booking section of the site and enable you to book a day and time that you would like to make your visit.
No. We will not be accepting ‘Walk Up’ visitors new or returning. All tickets must be validated online and a slot booked and confirmed AHEAD of arrival at the Dockyard.
We need to ensure the safety of our guests, and are therefore are operating on a capacity limit for all our attractions.
By ensuring that all of our visitors book online, then we are also able to comply with the Track and Trace requirements, and contact anyone who has been on the dockyard at the same time as a report COVID-19 case.
I have tried to validate my ticket and failed or don’t have access to a computer, how to I validate my booking?
If you have any issues with validating your ticket online then please speak to one of our Customer Service Team who would be happy to help you validate your ticket and make a booking. You can email the Customer Service team at email@example.com
We are no longer selling the Portsmouth Pass as we discuss structure of the offer with our neighbours.
Yes. We are offering all of our existing ticket holders the opportunity to upgrade their existing ticket to a new Unlimited Explorer ticket for 30% less than the online price. This is a limited time offer which will run for the first six weeks after tickets go on sale.
To upgrade your ticket visit historicdockyard.co.uk and click Ticket Extension you will find an option for the Reopening Upgrade Deal. If you register for this you will be provided with a special discount code which you can apply to the purchase of a new Unlimited Explorer ticket. The code can only be used once and once you have applied for it, it will make your previous ticket invalid.
The code will only be valid when purchasing Unlimited Explorer tickets and cannot be applied to any other ticket purchases.
Purchasing a new ticket
As part of the new collaboration between the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Mary Rose Museum, we are now offering a range of new tickets for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The tickets we have are:
- One Attraction Day Ticket
This is valid on one attraction and only for the day of the visit.
- The Three Attraction Explorer ticket
This is valid on three attractions of your choice and can be reused as many times as you like for 12 months. The ticket is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.
- The Ultimate Explorer ticket
This is valid on all of the attractions at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and can be reused as many times as you like for 12 months. The ticket is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.
- The Family Explorer 1 ticket
This is valid on all attractions at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and includes one adult and up to three children. It is valid for 12 months and is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.
- The Family Explorer 2 ticket
This is valid on all attractions at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and includes two adults and up to three children. It is valid for 12 months and is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.
|Ultimate Explorer||Family Explorer 1||Family Explorer 2|
- Adult: £24
- Senior: £23
- Child: £19
- Adult: £39
- Senior: £38
- Child: £29
- £5 online/trade
- Adult: £44
- Senior: £43
- Child: £34
- £5 adult online/
- Walk up: £100
- Online: £95
- Walk up: £125
- Online: £120
Yes. Seniors (65 years old and older) receive a £1 discount on any ticket that they buy for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
We offer a child rate on all of our tickets which applies to visitors aged 4 – 15.
We do not offer a formal student concession, but do run special offers for students.
Due to the current situation we are insisting that all visitors book tickets ahead of their visit through our website. Therefore all new tickets booked will be booked at our online price, which is £5 cheaper than the Walk Up price you would pay in the visitor centre.
When we are able to accept Walk Up visitors again the higher prices will implemented.
The prices as they are listed on the website are the prices that visitors will be asked to pay, no further discounts will be applied.
Gift Aid is reclaimed by the charity from HMRC from the tax you pay for the current tax year. Your address is needed to identify you as a current UK taxpayer. In order to Gift Aid your donation you must select one of the Gift Aid ticket options below.
Gift Aid allows us to reclaim 25p tax for every £1 spent. As a charity, every penny counts. Your kind donation to support the work of National Museum of The Royal Navy, Mary Rose Trust and Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust is subject to HMRC terms and conditions and is therefore not eligible for a refund. Whether it's to conserve world famous ships or bring historical artefacts to the public, selecting the Gift Aid tickets helps us to continue this valuable work.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is operated by the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Mary Rose Trust, both of whom are education and heritage conservation charities. So, if you are a UK tax payer and opt-in to Gift Aid, we can claim back 25% of the total cost of your eligible tickets from HMRC. This makes a huge difference to us and helps support all of our charitable work.
Tickets that are eligible for Gift Aid are those with 12 month redemption periods. This includes:
- The Three Attraction Explorer ticket
- The Ultimate Explorer ticket
- The Family Explorer 1 ticket
- The Family Explorer 2 ticket
It is with regret that our terms and conditions do outline a strict no refund policy and we ask you to accept this specific term before you submit your payment. A ticket that has had Gift Aid applied to it is converted to a donation to enable us to recover the tax relief. The legislation from HMRC which surrounds fundraising prevents us from refunding donations, including Gift Aid tickets.
Booking a Visit
We have introduced pre-booking for ALL visitors to all of our attractions in line with government advice and to enable us to manage the volume of visitors to our site in a socially distanced way.
We are offering visitors the opportunity to choose a day that they would like to visits as well as a specific half an hour window when they would like to arrive. This is essential in enabling us to manage queues and to avoid large gatherings of people. It also enables us to comply with the Track and Trace requirements, and contact anyone who has been on the dockyard at the same time as a report COVID-19 case.
No - you only need to book a time slot to gain entry onto the dockyard. Once scanned in, you will only need your original ticket to scan onto each attraction you have paid to see.
Please note that at busy times, a socially distant queue may be in operation at our attractions.
There are 9 timeslots available throughout each day. They are as follows:
10am – 10.30am
10.30am – 11.00am
11.00am – 11.30am
11.30am – 12.00pm
12.00pm – 12.30pm
12.30pm – 1.00pm
1.00pm – 1.30pm
1.30pm – 2pm
2.30pm – 3.00pm
Booking will not be taken after the 2.30pm – 3.00pm slot.
Time slots are allocated in half an hour sections, however we understand that sometimes you may be running late! You time slot will allow you half an hour to arrive and enter the Dockyard so a 10am til 10.30am slot means you can arrive between 10 and 10.30.
We do ask our visitors to try and arrive within their designated slot to ensure that we can manage any queues within social distancing requirements and avoid large gatherings of people.
If you do miss your time slot, we will ask you to wait and will do our best to fit you into the next available slot. However this will depend on the capacity levels of that slot and we cannot guarantee entry. The staff at our visitor centre will be on hand to help should this be the case.
You will have from the time of your entry, to the time the Dockyard closes to explore the Dockyard and the Attractions. You may be asked to queue for a short period before entering some Attractions, this is to ensure that capacity and flow of visitors allows for the required level of social distancing.
If you choose to leave the Dockyard during your visit, unfortunately we will not be able to readmit you. This is because of the regulations around managing capacity at out entrance and exit points.
However, if you have one of our annual tickets, you can come back as many times as you like, as long as you pre-book yourself a time slot for entry to the Dockyard.
If you are buying a new ticket, you need to visit the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website and go to Ticket and Offers. Here you will be taken to our ticketing page, with details of all our ticket options. When you purchase your new ticket, there is the ability to book your timeslot at the same time as purchase.
Yes. ALL visitors are required to book a timeslot before they visit the site, including those going to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum or Explosion The Museum of Naval Firepower, in Gosport. This is essential in enabling us to manage our volume of visitors to those sites.
Yes absolutely. If you are unable to make your slot we actively encourage you amend or cancel the slot. This enables us to free up this time for another visitor. You will need to call our Visitor Engagement Team.
You will not be penalised for cancelling or amending a slot.
If you are unable to visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as planned then we would ask you to cancel or amend your timeslot on the historicdockyard.co.uk website.
If you do not cancel your visit and do not attend, a ‘no show’ note will be made against your ticket. If you have two ‘no show’ notes against your record you will be prevented from booking a new slot.
If this is the case and you still wish to make a booking you will need to ring 023 9283 9766 (opt.1) and speak to someone in our Customer Service Team who will override the system. In this case we may also ask for a deposit against your booking.
We have to implement a strict policy in regard to ‘no shows’ as we are managing a severely restricted capacity and want to ensure that we can welcome as many visitors as possible at all times.
It is with regret that our terms and conditions do outline a strict no refund policy and we ask you to accept this specific term before you submit your payment.
However your tickets will remain on the system indefinitely so you will be able to visit on a later date and enjoy unlimited access to The National Museum of the Royal Navy sites for 12 months after that date.
The attractions within the Dockyard survive on the income it generates from its visitors and their kind donations and looks to that continued support in this challenging time. Providing refunds to visitor would severely impact our ability to maintain our historic collection.
We are currently unable to accept Tesco Clubcard Vouchers and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We will update this page as soon as we are able to accept Tesco Clubcard Vouchers. If you have any queries regarding your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers, please contact the Clubcard team directly
Once you have booked your ticket and/or your time slot for visiting, you will be sen TWO confirmation emails. The first is your ticket confirmation, this will confirm that you ticket had been secured. If it is a new ticket then it will be confirmation of the payment being authorised. If it is an existing ticket it is confirmation that it has been validated, extended and a new ticket with your new expiry date issued.
You will need to keep hold of this email as your formal ticket, it will be this that allows you access to the site, should you choose to return. This will also be scanned as you enter each of the attractions.
The second email, your booking confirmation, will confirm your specific booking for that visit, with the date and time of your visit confirmed. New booking confirmations will be issued each time you book to return to the site.
When you arrive at the site you will need BOTH of these email confirmations
Once you have received your ticket confirmation and booking confirmation emails you can print them off and bring to the site on the day, alternatively our front of house team will be able to scan them directly from your phone or tablet.
If you are unable to print your confirmation and don’t have access to a phone or tablet with your emails on, then the staff at our visitor centre will be happy to help you.
COVID-19 Safety Measures
The safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is our primary concern and to ensure this, we have put a range of protective measures in place in line with government advice. We are reviewing these regularly as advise changes?
For more details about these measures, you can download the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Safety Pack.
In summary the key changes we are making are:
We are staggering our entry times and have implemented a maximum capacity for visitors on site
We have introduced new social distancing measures throughout the Dockyard, the Ships, the Museums and Galleries.
Clear markers and signage have been installed to help visitors keep a safe distance from one another and ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable visit.
There are hand sanitiser points located around the site and within the Attractions.
Some attractions have implemented a one-way system, this is to ensure a safe visitor capacity and flow, please follow these directions.
There are new hygiene screens in the Visitors Centre and Reception areas in some of the Museums, Restaurants and Cafés, to help physically separate visitors from team members.
Staff using PPE to protect visitors
Additional cleaning of toilets and touch points
We have taken every precaution to reopen our site safely. However, we also want to provide you with a fantastic day out and therefore we are tried to ensure that the precautions we have put in place do not overly intrude on your day.
Some elements of the site, we felt simply couldn’t be opened safely and therefore those elements will remain closed.
For the time being we are not accepting group travel bookings. Visitors who wish to visit with other families or part of an informal larger group may do so but must adhere to the latest government guidelines.
We have significantly reduced the daily-ticketed capacity of the Dockyard to allow for social distancing and the best possible visitor experience. This is being regularly reviewed.
Yes, as per current government advice. Please ensure you have a suitable facemask or covering with you, as you will need to cover your face when visiting some of our attractions and in our shops. Members of the Dockyard team may be wearing facemasks, gloves or visors, for the safety of our visitors and team members. Facemasks will not be required when you are outside in the Dockyard.
We have introduced additional and regular cleaning of handrails, door handles, doorplates, exhibition panels, tables and chairs, service counters and toilets to all our Attractions, Exhibitions and Galleries.
We are asking our visitors to use a contactless bankcard wherever possible, but will still be accepting cash.
We have reviewed all of our interactives and touchscreen and assessed whether they can be cleaned regularly. Many of our interactives will still be available, but where one has been closed there will be clear signage explaining this. Hand sanitiser will also be available at regular intervals.
To ensure that we do not encourage groups of people or crowding we will not be running displays and demonstrations at our sites. We will continue to review this policy as restrictions life. Keep an eye on our events pages for further details.
Yes, we will still need to carry out bag searches to comply with our safety and security procedure. This particular important as we based next to a Military Base. Please only bring essential bags with you. This will enable a quick and efficient entry process.
All of the toilets on site will be open. We have introduced additional and regular cleaning of handrails, door handles, doorplates, counters and toilets.
All toilet facilities are clearly signposted, and there are hand sanitiser points located around the site and within the attractions.
Yes. We have designated First Aiders with the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard site, and should someone fall ill whilst in the Museum, the responder will use appropriate PPE before administering any First Aid.
Yes. In line with the government regulations we are complying with the requirements of the track and trace scheme. This means that we are required to collect your details when you make your site booking so that you can be contacted should a case of COVID-19 be recorded on site.
Your ticket will be scanned when you arrive and leave the site, which enables us to know who was on site should a case be recorded and therefore you will only be contacted if you are known to have been on site.
Facilities and Access Queries
Refreshments will be available at most sites, but there may be a limited or different menu during the COVID-19 restrictions. Some seating areas may have been reconfigured, or closed, to allow for socially distancing. Please also be prepared to make payments using a ‘contactless’ bankcard, rather than cash whilst visiting.
Yes, most of the Shops within the Dockyard are open, but please be prepared to make payments using a ‘contactless’ bankcard, rather than cash whilst visiting. Please also ensure you have a suitable facemask or covering, as you will need to cover your face when visiting our shops, including Nauticalia and Antiques Storehouse, as per current government advice.
Yes. The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard site and is fully accessible by wheelchair.
The Mary Rose Museum is fully accessible, many of the other sites house lifts to access upper floors and have wheelchair accessible toilets. We also have a number of wheelchairs available on site to ensure all areas are accessible. Please check our accessibility page for more details.
We are not currently accepting School or Learning Group bookings for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard or the individual attractions. We will be reviewing this policy regularly and hope to welcome these groups back, later this year. However, we have taken learning online and can offer virtual learning experiences.
This is to account for challenges around social distancing with large groups and children.
Unfortunately, not at the moment. We will be contacting all groups with existing bookings and discussing next steps with them.
We are not currently accepting group travel bookings for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard or the individual attractions. We will be reviewing this policy regularly and hope to welcome these groups back, later this year.
This is to account for challenges around social distancing with large groups.
It is important to us to get feedback from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard visitors to help us understand what improvements we can make and to know what is going well.
After your visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard we will send you a post-visit survey to capture some of your thoughts about your visit and in particular how you felt about our safety measures. We would grateful if you are able to complete this as it provides valuable insights which help us to plan for future visitors.
You can also leave a review on our Trip Advisor page.