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All aboard for Liverpool's new maritime attraction

A new permanent gallery dedicated to Liverpool seafarers and passengers is being opened at the Merseyside Maritime Museum this spring.

The Life on Board gallery will open its door on the Royal Albert Dock attraction’s second floor from Saturday, March 28.

Displays will highlight the lives of merchant seamen who worked as crew on liners and other ships, and some of the passengers who sailed in and out of the city over the past three centuries.

Life on Board explores the unique environment and distinctive culture experienced by seafarers, and looks at the traditions of music, language, entertainment and art that have been shaped by global sailing throughout history.

The gallery will examine the style and comfort of passenger travel, looking at the ‘floating palaces’ of the early 20th Century.

And it will also consider how competition between shipping companies created a market for distinctive maritime design. Transatlantic liners were sumptuously styled, with interiors and fittings reminiscent of stately homes.

Digital projections and soundscapes will help bring stories to life, while visitors will also be able to get hands-on with interactive content.

Above: Passengers sunbathing on the QE2 in 1977. Top: The crew of Cunard's SS Ultonia, c1900. Both images courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

Ian Murphy, Head of Merseyside Maritime Museum, says: “Life on Board will provide us with the opportunity to display more than 250 fascinating objects.

“From ship models and figureheads, to examples of fine tableware and clothing, they help to tell new and important stories about our great seafaring past and present.”

Shipping has always been vitally important to our island nation, and today it still accounts for 95 percent of all goods imported into and exported from Britain.

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