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Exploring Edinburgh’s Royal Yacht Britannia: A Guide to Visiting the Iconic Ship

The Royal Yacht Britannia is one of the most iconic ships in the world and has been a part of the British Royal Family for over 40 years. During this time, the ship has been used for many royal events, including the Queen’s honeymoon and the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Now, visitors to Edinburgh can explore the grandeur of this majestic vessel, which is permanently moored in the Port of Leith. In this guide, we will look at what to expect when visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia, and what to do while you’re there.

History of the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia was commissioned in 1953 as a gift from the British public to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and built by John Brown & Co. Ltd in Clydebank, Scotland. The ship was launched in April 1954 and was used by the Royal Family for the next 43 years, until it was decommissioned in 1997.

The Royal Yacht Britannia was the most luxurious royal yacht ever built and provided the Royal Family with the perfect setting for entertaining heads of state and dignitaries. During its lifetime, the ship has sailed to over 600 ports in 135 countries, carrying the Queen and members of the Royal Family on voyages of diplomatic and state visits.

The Royal Yacht Britannia is currently moored in the Port of Leith in Edinburgh and is open to the public as a museum. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Edinburgh and is visited by over 350,000 people each year.

What to Expect When Visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is located in the historic Port of Leith in Edinburgh and is easily accessible by bus, train, car or on foot. When you arrive, you will be welcomed by a friendly team of staff who will provide you with a guided tour of the ship. The tour lasts for around 90 minutes and you will be taken through all the key areas of the ship, including the Royal Apartments, the Grand Staircase and the Engine Room.

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During your tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia, you’ll be able to explore the stately rooms and get a glimpse into life on the royal yacht. You’ll also learn about the fascinating history of the ship, from its launch in 1954 to its decommissioning in 1997. The tour also includes the interactive audio-visual show, which brings to life the stories of the ship’s past.

At the end of the tour, you’ll be able to explore the rest of the ship at your own pace, and take in the magnificent views of the Firth of Forth. There is also a café and gift shop on board, where you can purchase souvenirs and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

What to See and Do on the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is a unique experience and offers plenty of things to see and do. You can explore the ship and learn more about its history, or take a self-guided tour of the Royal Apartments, complete with audio commentary. You can also explore the Engine Room and see the workings of the ship, and take in the breathtaking views from the top deck.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a kayak tour of the harbour or catch a boat ride on the Royal Yacht. You can also take part in one of the special events, such as the Royal Garden Party, or the annual Christmas and New Year’s cruises. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to have a memorable experience on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Food and Drink on the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia has a café on board, which serves sandwiches, light snacks and drinks. You can also enjoy a traditional afternoon tea, complete with scones, clotted cream and jam. If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, you can enjoy a delicious meal in the Royal Dining Room, which is open for lunch and dinner.

The Royal Yacht Britannia also has a bar, where you can enjoy a selection of beers, wines and spirits. For those looking to indulge, there is also a selection of champagne and fine wines. The bar also serves light snacks and bar food, so you can enjoy a bite to eat while you admire the views.

Children’s Activities on the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is a great place to take children, with plenty of activities to keep them entertained. There is an interactive audio-visual show, which is perfect for younger children, as well as a range of interactive exhibits. There are also regular children’s events throughout the year, such as the Easter egg hunt and the Summer holiday activities.

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The Royal Yacht Britannia also has a Play Deck, where children can play games, build models and make crafts. There is also a selection of toys and books for younger children, as well as a range of dressing up costumes. This is a great way for children to learn about the history of the ship while having fun.

Accessibility on the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is committed to providing an enjoyable experience for all visitors, including those with disabilities. The ship is fully wheelchair accessible, with lifts to the upper decks and ramps to the lower decks. There is also an audio-visual tour for visually impaired visitors, and an audio tour for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Royal Yacht Britannia is also committed to providing a safe environment for all visitors. There are specially trained staff on board who are trained in disability awareness, and can provide assistance and advice if required.

Special Events on the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia hosts a range of special events throughout the year, including the Royal Garden Party, the annual Christmas and New Year’s cruises, and the summer long weekend. These events are a great way to experience the atmosphere of the ship, and to enjoy a range of activities, such as live music, cocktail making and even a fancy dress competition.

The Royal Yacht Britannia also offers private events, such as weddings, birthdays and corporate events. These events are tailored to your individual requirements and can be organised in one of the ship’s stately rooms. There are also a range of catering options available, from formal meals to casual buffets.

Gift Shop and Souvenirs on the Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia has a gift shop on board, where you can purchase souvenirs and gifts. The shop offers a range of items, including clothing, books, mugs, tea towels and postcards. There are also a range of royal memorabilia items, such as the official Royal Yacht Britannia mug, and the Royal Family crest keyring.

The gift shop also stocks a range of exclusive and limited edition items, such as the Royal Yacht Britannia models. These models are handcrafted and make a perfect gift for any fan of the Royal Family. You can also purchase a range of other items, such as the official Royal Yacht Britannia souvenir guide.

What Else to Do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a vibrant city and there are plenty of things to see and do while you’re there. You could visit Edinburgh Castle, climb Arthur’s Seat or explore the city’s many museums and galleries. You can also take a stroll down the Royal Mile, or take in the views from Calton Hill. Alternatively, you could take a ghost tour of the city, or sample some traditional Scottish fare in one of the city’s many pubs.

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The Royal Yacht Britannia is a unique experience and provides a fascinating insight into the history of the Royal Family. Whether you’re visiting Edinburgh for a few days or a few weeks, the Royal Yacht Britannia is a must-see attraction. With its fascinating history and stunning views, it’s the perfect way to explore the city and learn more about the Royal Family.

Conclusion

The Royal Yacht Britannia is an iconic ship and a must-see attraction in Edinburgh. Visitors can explore the grandeur of this majestic vessel, take a guided tour of the ship, and learn more about its fascinating history. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy on board, such as the interactive audio-visual show, the Royal Garden Party and the special events. There is also a café and a gift shop on board, where you can purchase souvenirs and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to have a memorable experience on the Royal Yacht Britannia.