Cutty Sark

The Worlds’ sole surviving tea clipper

Cutty Sark is an iconic ship located in Greenwich attracting audiences from around the world. Visitors can climb on board this award-winning attraction and explore the decks of a classic British clipper ship, discovering its British trading history in the late 19th Century. ATS was appointed to work with the Royal Museums Greenwich team to develop an audio tour which would improve visitor experience around the ship. 

The Challenges  

  • Cutty Sark wanted to add value to the ticket price 
  • Wayfinding and orientation: help visitors to make sense of the ship 
  • Enhance the atmosphere of the ship
  • Interpret what is a challenging environment with steps, ladders, low beams, ceilings and a fragmented visitor route 
  • Identify a tool that compliments the existing interpretation and interactives 
  • Deliver a high-quality experience to domestic and international visitors every day, all year round 
  • Maintain the high level of experience particularly during peak busy periods 
  • Provide a hardware solution staff can trust, be confident in its reliability and day to day operations. 

 The Solution 

ATS reviewed a draft script written by Cutty Sark and we made suggestions to optimise the audio guide experience for visitors such as identifying pinch points on the route, exploring creative opportunities to add atmosphere to the tour. 

Available in English and 9 other languages, we provided a full production and translation service including casting narrator voices, studio recordings and post editing where we added music and sound effects. 

ATS provides every visitor with an iTouch audio guide as part of their ticket price, with a flexible stock of devices to meet annual fluctuating demand.  

Our dedicated UK technical support team provide planned maintenance and servicing to ensure devices are in the best condition and in operation at all times. Our client team provide advice and guidance on operations and logistics, supporting Cutty Sark to get the most out of their guides and provide visitors with a fantastic experience. 

Director of Visitor Experience and Enterprises, Eleanor Harris said:

“The Cutty Sark has welcomed more than two million visitors since it reopened in 2012 following a major conservation project and has become established as one of London’s top tourist destinations, so much so that the majority of its visitors are from overseas. In order to cater for the international visitors and also to provide visitors with a more in-depth interpretation at the ship’s fascinating history and its conservation, we decided to introduce a multi-lingual audio guide”. 

Eleanor Harris continued, “ATS Heritage was selected and we worked closely with them to develop an audio tour in 10 languages including an ‘Easy English’ option for all of the students who visit the ship who are learning English as a second language. Our curatorial and learning teams developed the scripts and ATS Heritage provided the languages, audio tour and handsets. We benefitted from ATS Heritage’s expertise in delivering a tour on a historic vessel. 

Since Cutty Sark’s audio guides went live in May 2019, the response from visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. Most visitors now giving Cutty Sark a 5-star or 4-star rating on TripAdvisor and Google reviews. What is particularly gratifying is that their reviews not only mention how much they have enjoyed the audio tour, but they also talk about the ship’s history, fire and conservation (all things they have discovered by taking the tour)”.