THE Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has set sail from her home port for the first time to visit her affiliated city of Liverpool.

Crowds lined the sea walls of Portsmouth Harbour to wave off the 65,000 tonne warship as she left for the week-long stay in Merseyside which is expected to start on February 28.

Captain Darren Houston, the commanding officer of the ship which is also affiliated with Bristol, said: "My ship's company and I are hugely excited about our first visit to Liverpool.

"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."

Runcorn and Widnes World:

How can I see it?

Members of the public will be able to step on board the Prince of Wales on February 29 which is the first opportunity for people to visit one of the navy's two new giant aircraft carriers.

All available tickets have now been allocated but people without a ticket can still view the ship at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal throughout the week of her visit from public areas such as Princes Parade. 

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Deputy mayor and Liverpool City Council's cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: "It's a huge coup for Liverpool to welcome its affiliated ship HMS Prince of Wales on its inaugural, history-making visit.

"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.

"Maritime events always prove to be hugely popular in Liverpool, and this will be no exception.

"Once again our world heritage waterfront will provide the incredible backdrop for a striking vessel, and we look forward to welcoming her at the end of the month."