SS GREAT BRITAIN
The trailblazing SS Great Britain is one of Bristol's main tourist attractions and a fitting monument to the city's maritime heritage. Groundbreaking in design and dashing on the waves, the iconic vessel was turned into a museum in the late 20th century. Today, the museum receives between 150,000 and 200,000 visitors annually interested in learning about the vessel’s historic trips across the Atlantic.
Spending a day on boardDesigned by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the SS Great Britain was the first ironclad steamer to cross the Atlantic Ocean and helped propel nautical technology forward. The vessel held the record for being the world’s longest passenger ship from 1845 to 1854. The boat was eventually retired and scuttled in the Falkland Islands before its 100-metre hull was raised and returned to Bristol in 1970.
If you wish to find your own sea legs, you can visit the moored vessel today to enjoy the restored surrounds of this Bristol museum. The SS Great Britain has interactive displays that allow the whole family to learn about the realities of Victorian sailing and the experiences of those who travelled on some of the ship's most famous voyages. The vessel’s sleeping quarters, which were able to hold 360 passengers and 120 crew, are often the highlight of any visit.
With excellent panoramic views of the city's harbour area and access to numerous other museums, like the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bristol is a convenient city centre hotel for exploring the area's nautical past.