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Royal Yacht Britannia

Overview

The Royal Yacht Britannia was the Royal family's personal ship from 1953 to 1997. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh took a personal involvement in the design and furnishing of their floating home, so it is interesting to see how relatively modest the décor is. A walk around the ship is like stepping back in time and it is hard not to feel a bit nostalgic for the 1950's. 

Since the beginning of April 1998, the Royal Yacht Britannia has been anchored in Edinburgh and has become a major attraction. Visitors have access to most areas of the ship from the petty officers quarters to the engine room via the Royal Family's deck.

It is interesting to work your way down from the Royal families' chambers to the humble crews quarters. That said, we got the impression that a posting on Britannia must have been quite a cushy number for the crew, even though they must have spent most of their days polishing the ship and worrying about the state of their uniforms. Indeed, one of the largest rooms on the ship is the laundry and the information boards explain that 3 changes of uniform a day was not unusual when doing a cruise in the Tropics. We also found that one of the most impressive aspects of the vessel is its spotlessly clean engine room.

The tour of the ship is enhanced by the commentary that you receive through the hand held audio guides. If you take time to listen to the very posh sounding narrator, you will learn lots more about the ship as well as some amusing anecdotes about life on board. However, if you aren't a fan of the monarchy and object to their inherited priviledges, you will find the commentary to be a bit too sychophantic.

It isn't an essential thing to do when visiting Edinburgh as the ship really doesn't have many links with the city and isn't a part of Edinburgh's history. However, a visit to the Britannia will easily fill 2 hours of your time and the pubs and restaurants of Leith are worth exploring when you are in the area.   

The Gift Shop has lots of things to tempt the dedicated Royal Family fan, but it is quite expensive.

The No.22 bus from Princes Street takes you to Ocean Terminal in about 20 mins.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a tearoom on board the ship which we would recommend if you are looking for a light lunch. The Britannia View cafe next door to the entrance to the Royal Yacht Britannia, is NOT part of the attraction and we'd advise you to avoid eating there as the food is poor.

Address:

Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ

Operated by:

Independent

Opening Hours:

April to October 9.30am to 4.30pm (last admission) November to March 10.00 am to 3.30 pm (last admission) Closed 25th December and 01st January. Last admission on 24th December 2.30 pm.

Admission:

Adult £ 16.50, Child (5-17) £ 8.75, Senior Citizen (60+) £ 14.50, Family (2+3) £ 46

Parking:

Yes

Languages:

English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Czech, Urdu and Mandarin - facilitated by hand held audio guides.

Accessibility:

Yes fully wheelchair accessible

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

Yes, on the upper deck of the ship. A nice place for High Tea!

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