The Royal Yacht Britannia was the floating home of Her Majesty the Queen from 1953 to 1997 and is now a popular traveler attraction. In the past, the Britannia hosted many royal banquet parties and receptions as the queen traveled, and the yacht was set up to provide the same opulence and class as you would find in the Royal Palace.

During your self-guided tour, you'll have access to almost the entire ship to see its chambers and period furnishings. As you walk through the rooms, you can admire the exquisite decor and architectural details of the floating palace. Your tour will take you through the entertainment spaces, royal residences, crew quarters and much more for a glimpse into the past. Those interested in history will be particularly fascinated with the historical details provided by the audio tour guide, and almost anyone would be impressed by the magnificent grandeur of the ship and its contents.

Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh - one of the highlights of 11 Iconic Buildings and Places in Edinburgh (Read all about Edinburgh here)

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Highlights of Royal Yacht Britannia

As you explore the Royal Yacht Britannia, you'll get a glimpse into the life the royal family would have experienced while aboard. You can tour the dining room where the queen entertained high-profile guests, including celebrities and world leaders like Nelson Mandela and Ronald Regan. In the engine room, you can see the massive engines required to propel the ship and its crew and get an understanding of what it was like to work on a vessel at the time. You'll see the cultivated state apartments where the queen's guests stayed, the royal bedrooms and the crew quarters below deck, where you'll learn about the crew's work and lifestyle. A visit to the Royal Deck Tea room provides fabulous views while you sip on tea or a cocktail and enjoy sandwiches, soups and delectable candies, all in the same spot the queen played cards and entertained her guests.

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History of Royal Yacht Britannia

Britannia’s first voyage was in April of 1953, and she traveled over 1,000,000 miles while in the service of the royal family for more than 44 years. The queen treated the yacht as her home away from home and enjoyed many of the royal family's vacations and celebrations aboard it, such as honeymoons and state banquets. The yacht was also used for royal travel such as state visits and other political affairs. There were approximately 220 staff members responsible for the ship's navigation and maintenance as well as running the house and preparing for banquets and receptions. In 1997, the yacht was decommissioned and moved to Ocean Terminal, opening its doors to the public so that guests can continue to appreciate its grandeur. 

Good to know about Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is docked in front of the Ocean Terminal at the intersection of Ocean Drive and Melrose Drive. Ticketing and the gift shop are located on the second floor of the shopping mall. Be sure to bring headphones and download the audio guide to get the most out of your tour and hear behind-the-scenes facts and tales. There is also a special tour available for young children. After your tour, you can make a stop at the gift shop where you can find souvenirs of your visit, such as fine china, toys and nautical-themed gifts to bring home as a memento of your trip. If you enjoyed Royal Yacht Britannia, you can also visit the sister ship, Fingal, which features a floating hotel and the Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar. While in the area, you may also enjoy a stop at Water of Leith Walkway, which offers picturesque hiking and views of the landscape.

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Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

Location: Ocean Dr, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ, UK

Phone: +44 (0)1315 555566