HMS Prince of Wales before leaving Portsmouth

HMS Prince Of Wales Sails From Portsmouth For First Time

HMS Prince of Wales before leaving Portsmouth

HMS Prince of Wales has set sail from her home port for the first time.

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier left Portsmouth Harbour on Thursday morning and is heading to one of her affiliated cities, Liverpool.

Crowds lined the sea walls of the harbour to wave off the 65,000-tonne warship as she left for the week-long stay in the city, where she is expected to arrive on 28 February.

The aircraft carrier will open to the public during the trip.

"My ship’s company and I are hugely excited about our first visit to Liverpool," Captain Darren Houston, the commanding officer of the ship said.

"This is an opportunity for us to cement our bond with the city as one of the newest warships in the Royal Navy’s fleet.

"We’re looking forward to hosting people from the local community on board during our time alongside, and I know we will receive the warmest of welcomes."

The ship's week-long stay will be packed with celebrations and engagements with the local community as part of demonstrations of the Naval service's ties with Liverpool.

HMS Prince of Wales is also affiliated with the city of Bristol.

Members of the public will be able to step on board the Prince of Wales on 29 February and 1 March - the first opportunity for people to visit one of the navy’s two new aircraft carriers.

While all tickets have already been allocated, people without a ticket will still be able to view the ship at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal from public areas.

"It’s a huge coup for Liverpool to welcome its affiliated ship HMS Prince of Wales on its inaugural, history-making visit," Deputy Mayor Councillor Wendy Simon said.

"The sheer scale of the ship will be a real spectacle on the River Mersey and is set to attract national and international attention, drawing massive crowds."

HMS Prince of Wales is Britain's newest aircraft carriers and one of the most powerful surface warships ever built in the UK.

Together with her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth, they are the UK's largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy, with an expected service life of up to 50 years.

The carriers can move to 500 miles per day and can host F-35 fighter jets.

A company of 700 sailors is currently on HMS Prince of Wales, but this will increase to around 1,600 with aircraft on board.

Cover image: HMS Prince of Wales before leaving Portsmouth (Picture: HMS Prince of Wales/Twitter).