HMS Illustrious in Liverpool

Britain's last aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious, will visit Liverpool today on what could be her final call before withdrawal.

The ship last visited the city in 2009, to celebrate of 100 years of naval aviation.

HMS Illustrious bids farewell to Liverpool

HMS Illustrious

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious sets sail from Liverpool this afternoon for what might be the last time. “Lusty” as she is affectionately known is expected to slip at around 4pm today.

The 23,000-tonne helicopter carrier has been berthed at the Cruise Liner Terminal on Liverpool’s waterfront since Valentine’s Day.

Councillor - 'thousands expected'

The last time Illustrious threw down her gangway to the public three years ago, over 8000 people took the opportunity each day to go aboard.

With this city's strong links to the sea, ship visits - whether they're cruise liners or naval vessels - are always hugely popular.

When HMS Liverpool visited last year, around 9,000 people took the opportunity to board her, and as HMS Illustrious is one of the Royal Navy's extremely recognisable ships we're expecting thousands to flock to see it.

This visit gives us just a taste of what is to come in May when Liverpool becomes the focus of the national Battle of the Atlantic 70th commemorations when around 25 warships will take pride of place on the splendour of our magnificent waterfront."

– WENDY SIMON, LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL

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Captain welcomes visitors

Liverpool is a very special place for a ship such as HMS Illustrious to visit and we always receive a very warm welcome indeed.

"We hope to be able to reciprocate in some small way by opening our doors to the general public to visit on Saturday and Sunday and to meet some of our people for an insight into some of the things we do on board."

– CAPTAIN MARTIN CONNELL, COMMANDING OFFICER, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS

Illustrious to open to visitors

HMS Illustrious arriving in Liverpool on Thursday
HMS Illustrious arriving in Liverpool on Thursday Credit: Andy Bonner

People in Liverpool will get a chance to see onboard Britain's last aircraft carrier this weekend. HMS Illustrious, is docked in the city on what could be her final call.

The ship will be open to the public tomorrow and Sunday.

On Saturday visitors will be able to go onboard from 10am - 4pm and on Sunday from midday to 4pm.

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