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Friday, December 24, 2010

SS Great Britain

The SS Great Britain has been called "The World's First Great Ocean Liner". Conceived by the great Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the revolutionary combination of a screw propeller, an iron hull, and a massive 1000-horsepower steam engine revolutionized international travel. So groundbreaking was the design that in 1843 when the SS Great Britain was launched, she was called "the greatest experiment since the Creation".

SS Great Britain
Today, visitors can view the SS Great Britain in the dry dock where she was built between 1839 and 1843. Views extend below the water line (as seen below). The visionary Brunel understood that a ship made of wrought iron could be bigger and stronger than one made of wood.

SS Great Britain
Before boarding the SS Great Britain, visitors first tour the excellent museum which explains the ship's history and offers related educational activities for adults and kids alike. The combination of sail and steam power was one feature of the SS Great Britain (see below).

SS Great Britain
Visitors can also tour below decks and see cabins, the engine room, steerage areas, the dining room (see below), etc. The tour below decks includes an audio guide.

SS Great Britain

The SS Great Britain can be reached on foot from central Bristol or by the Cross-Harbour Ferry which runs between Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Capricorn Quay and the new harbour inlet. Visitors to the SS Great Britain may also want to visit nearby St Mary Redcliffe Parish Church, Georgian House or Bristol Cathedral.

Brunel's SS Great Britain
Great Western Dockyard
Tel: 0117 9260680
SS Great Britain Map

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