Scale new heights and Go Aloft the ss Great Britain in 2014

By Sarah Jackson | 17 December 2013

Those wondering what life was like as a 19th century sailor will have the chance to find out for themselves in April 2014

View of Bristol from top of the mast of ss Great Britain
View from the top of the mast of the ss Great Britain© Courtesy ss Great Britain
For those with a stomach for heights and a spirit of adventure, the ss Great Britain will soon be offering visitors a unique and dizzying experience.

From April 2014, visitors will be immersed in the life of a 19th century crew aboard Brunel’s most famous ship – although, thankfully, health and safety requirements have improved since that time.

Go Aloft allows visitors to don a harness and scale the rigging of the great ship, 27 metres above the deck. They can then traverse the yardarm, which will take them nine metres out across the ship below, before returning safely to solid ground.

For those wishing to stay on deck, crew re-enactment volunteers will be on hand to bring the experience of being on board a 19th century passenger steam ship to life.

Rhian Tritton, the Director of Conservation and Education for the ss Great Britain Trust, said: “In everything we do we aim to take visitors back in time and show them what the conditions on board would have been like for passengers and crew alike.

“It would have been opulence and luxury for the First Class passengers, but scary and pretty dangerous for the hard working crew.”

The project is believed to be a world-first for a museum ship, and is surely an essential experience for those with an interest in maritime history – or for those who fancy seeing a view of Bristol that few will ever glimpse.

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Follow Sarah Jackson on Twitter @SazzyJackson.

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