Mary Rose museum progress

Mary Rose museum progress

As one of the nation’s most iconic ships secures funding for major restoration work another is getting a new purpose-built home. Construction of the Mary Rose Trust’s new museum is at an advanced stage ahead of it’s opening at the end of the year. Launched in 1511 close to the spot where she now lies, Mary Rose was one of the first warships to carry heavy guns.

She famously foundered during an engagement with a French invasion fleet in 1545 as King Henry VIII looked on from Southsea Castle. She was raised in 1982 and has been undergoing conservation work at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard since that time. Visit the Mary Rose Trust website for more details.

View a 360 image of the Mary Rose museum under construction.

Testing times for corvette

Testing times for corvette

The 99 metre patrol vessel Al-Shamikh is one of three Project Khareef corvettes being built for the Royal Navy of Oman at Portsmouth. As a long standing customer of British-built warships, Oman ordered the new ships from the VT Group for £400 million in 2007.

VT was subsequently taken over by BAE Systems which has led to delays with the construction schedule.  Displacing 2,700 tonnes the Khareef ships are larger and more seaworthy than warships of other Gulf nations as Oman’s southern coastline borders the open waters of the Indian Ocean.

German Navy at Portsmouth

The home of the Royal Navy is hosting three Deutsche Marine warships from 9-12 March. The German naval vessels left their homeport of Wilhelmshaven last month for a seven-month deployment that will include visits to a number of European countries before they cross the Atlantic for NATO exercises in Canada and the USA.

The group comprises two frigates, FGS Hessen and FGS Emden, from the 2nd Frigate Squadron and the Combat Stores ship, FGS Frankfurt am Main. The Berlin class auxiliary is one of the leading design contenders for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Joint Support Ship project.

HMS Victory gifted to trust

HMS Victory gifted to trust

The Royal Navy is to hand over custodianship of the world’s oldest commissioned warship to the HMS Victory Preservation Trust. The charitable trust has been set-up by the National Museum of the Royal Navy to help fund her upkeep. The move will immediately attract £50 million of investment with the UK MoD matching a £25 million donation from the Gosling Foundation.

Under the transfer agreement, the ship that served Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, will continue to fly the White Ensign. Currently the Flagship of the Second Sea Lord, HMS Victory will later become the Flagship of the First Sea Lord. The transfer is due to come into force on 1 April. (more…)

MV Minerva returns

Swan Hellenic’s newly upgraded  MV Minerva has returned to Portsmouth following a multi-million pound refit at Bremerhaven. The refurbishment is the first major overhaul for the vessel since she was initially converted from a Soviet spy ship into a cruise ship in 1996.

Among the more significant changes made during her three-month stay in Germany was the addition of 32 new cabins with balconies, built on the former Promenade Deck, and the construction of the new Orpheus Lounge and Bar, outside of which is a wider Promenade Deck. New lifeboats were also added.