Coming to Edinburgh? No vacation trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, would be complete without paying a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia, Scotland’s most popular visitor attraction. Launched in 1953 Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia was a much-loved favourite of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the British royal family for over 40 years and was probably the most famous ship in the world.
In April 1954, carrying Prince Charles and Princess Anne, Britannia sailed on her maiden voyage from Portsmouth to Malta and then to Tobruk in North Africa where Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, boarded her for the first time.
From her launch to her decommissioning in 1997 she travelled more than a million nautical miles on the high seas and during her career she played host to many VIPs and heads of state, including several Presidents of the United States of America.
Today, she is an award-winning visitor attraction and events venue permanently berthed at Ocean Terminal, Leith, in Edinburgh. Receiving more than 300,000 tourists a year she is a fascinating glimpse into royal life and an important historical resource and museum piece.
On your visit you will be able to explore the bridge, the state apartments, the crew’s quarters and the engine room. Highlights of the tour through the five decks include the sun lounge, the Queen’s bedroom, the state dining room and drawing rooms, the Royal Marines’ barracks and the sick bay. The majority of items on view are the originals (on loan from the Royal Collection and other contributors) including furniture, paintings and photographs from when Britannia was in royal service.
The route you will follow is fully accessible with lifts and ramps to aid your progress from one fascinating exhibit to another and there is no hurry to complete your visit. Tours are neither guided nor timed – you are free to go at your own pace and admire your glimpse into royal life at your leisure. An audio handset is provided to assist your tour. Allow at least two hours and another hour or so if you wish to visit the gift shop or the Royal Deck Tea Room (highly recommended)
A tour of Britannia is surely one of the highlights of any vacation to Scotland’s capital city and shouldn’t be missed. You are welcome to take as many photographs as you wish although the rule is ‘look but don’t touch!’
TAKE A GLIMPSE ABOARD THE ROYAL YACHT
A Scotsman born and bred I love to roam Scotland’s hills and wild places taking photographs and writing about my travels around the country and all things to do with my homeland.