A new £16 million attraction has opened in the heart of Portsmouth's historic naval dockyard.
Visitors to 'Action Stations' can become part of the modern Royal Navy- just for the day. Members of the public can test their skills and abilities using a series of high-tech interactive displays and simulators and can also watch a specially commissioned action-packed adventure film about the highs (and lows) of the Senior Service.
"It's a high quality attraction for the 21st century that will complement the historic ships and the dockyard that surrounds it," said Barbara Barnes, Action Stations' General Manager. "The excitement, entertainment and education value of Action Stations will appeal to visitors of all ages. One thing is guaranteed: the end result will be sensational."
Action Stations makes use of simulators which mimic a state of the art Type 23 frigate as well as a wide range of hands-on activities and displays.
The displays include: 'The Navy Today,' a review of the fleet featuring huge two dimensional metal ships containing graphics and video. A world map pinpoints the deployment of Naval task forces around the world with footage of the crucial activities both the Navy and the Marines are undertaking in these areas.
There's also the Virtual Ship Interactive Exhibition: five fully interactive "island" exhibits offer a chance to discover all the different facets of a Type 23 frigate - from taking the controls deep down in the Ops Room, to steering a ship on the bridge through a force nine gale.
A special film has been commissioned - 'Command Approved' (certificate PG) described as 'high drama and all-action.' The film was shot on location in the Bahamas and it features a Type 23 frigate tackling gold bullion pirates in tropical waters.
Owned and operated by Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, Action Stations is part-funded by the Millennium Commission. It is located in Boathouse No 6, a Victorian brick and stone structure designed by a Royal Engineer and built in 1846. Its massive cast iron frame revolutionised construction technology.
Admission to Action Stations is £6.50 for adults, £5.80 for seniors and £4.80 for children aged between five and 16. It can be included as part of a visit to Flagship Portsmouth and its other attractions, Mary Rose, HMS Victory and the Royal Naval Museum, and HMS Warrior 1860.
Flagship Portsmouth's website www.flagship.org.uk gives full details of Action Stations, and other attractions and events taking place at the Historic Dockyard this year. Alternatively, call Flagship Portsmouth's 24 Hour Information Line on 023 9286 1512 for times and ticket prices.