HRH Queen Elizabeth II much loved ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA

The world mourned the passing of the English monarch Queen Elizabeth II. She was said to have been deeply saddened at the decommissioning of the Royal Yacht. She worked tirelessly as our Queen but walking around the Royal Yacht you are reminded that she was a mother. There are pictures of the family all over the yacht, as well as board games and stories of pranks.

HRH Queen Elizabeth was amazing. She worked right up to the end when it cannot have been easy, yet never let it show. Despite all the television coverage, I have never felt so let into her life as walking around her much loved #RoyalYacht on her 90th birthday. The access all areas tour was a special treat that showed her as a mother, very proud of her family. There are pictures all around as well as board games and the history of fun and pranks, yet her office was nearby.


The real treat, if sailing from Edinburgh is to book a night and stay in …. her sister ship, which is Edinburgh’s number one hotel in many lists. Luxury Overnight stay in her sister Yacht FingalA luxury floating hotel permanently berthed on Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront. A hotel with all the glamour and style of a superyacht but with an old-world elegance that is completely unique.

You can enjoy supper and stay, and a visit to the Royal Yacht can be included. From the Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar, you can gaze out across the water to the twinkling city lights. Sleep in a more spectacular luxury cabin than HM The Queen had on the Britannia, and then enjoy Fingal’s full Scottish breakfast before you disembark.

Your Exclusive Use

We think that the Yacht will be even more popular for corporate events and weddings. The former Royal residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II can exclusively be yours for the evening, providing a unique experience for you and your guests. Their website states that …. Be it a milestone birthday or anniversary, a special corporate or incentive event, Britannia is the perfect venue to host the event of a lifetime where you can follow in the footsteps of Royalty.

Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned in 1997 and has become the number one attraction in Edinburgh. It will no doubt be a lot busier now.

The Queen herself launched this John Brown-built ship in April 1953, and it now tells a fabulous story of her working and private life with you standing in it and feeling a part of it. From the private stories to hers and Prince Philip’s bedroom, it is all open to the public. The feeling of pride oozes from the friendly staff and I can say, fewer tours have impressed me as much.

Despite all the coverage you have seen, I hope this personal walk-through is a little different. Please consider this visit to the Royal Yacht when in Edinburgh.

It was launched in 1954 and amazingly was the 83rd Royal vessel since the first, a racing cutter in 1660. The then King Charles the second was himself quite a character and is mentioned in our Nell Gwynne film set in London. In her 43 years afloat the Royal Yacht Britannia sailed more than a million nautical miles around the world.

She is open to visit at the Ocean Terminal in Leith, in Edinburgh.

Now classed as a museum ship, the 5,769 GT, 126meter long yacht was built in just over a year after being ordered in 1952. She could hold 250 people, has three masts: a 133-foot (41 m) foremast, a 139-foot (42 m) mainmast, and a 118-foot (36 m) mizzenmast. The top 20 feet (6.1 m) of the mainmast was hinged to allow the ship to pass under bridges.

Moored next to the Royal Yacht is the 1936 racing yacht Bloodhound, one of the most successful ocean-racing yachts ever built and was the yacht on which the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal learned to sail.

Why was she decommissioned?

“The yacht last underwent a major refit in 1987. A further refit at an estimated cost of some £17 million would be necessary in 1996–97 but would only prolong her life for a further five years. In view of her age, even after the refit she would be difficult to maintain and expensive to run. It has therefore been decided to decommission “Britannia” in 1997. The Government will now consider the question of whether to replace “Britannia”.

— Viscount Cranborne, House of Lords Hansard: Written Answers 23 June 1994

What was the yacht’s last royal duty?

To bring Prince Philip and Chris Patton back from Hong Kong.


Number 1 attraction

The Royal Yacht Britannia is Edinburgh’s number 1 attraction, and since the passing of the Queen, it will no doubt be more popular than ever. Although the period after her death saw many programmes and discussions, none were as insightful as the walk around the Royal Yacht. The yacht has been opened from top to bottom, and you are welcomed and encouraged to take pictures. The RYB was set to sail in 1953, and it was an ideal place for dinners and meetings with heads of state all over the world because it could and did travel all over the world.

Allow time to enjoy this tour because it is unlikely you will want to rush. This vessel served the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, from 1954 until 1997. She was the 83rd such vessel since King Charles II, (the subject of Jean’s film on Nel Gwynne with whom he was good friends.) You will see how much more comfort you have on your modern cruise ship than the late Queen had. The furnishings are all still in place. During this yacht’s 43-year career, Her Majesty travelled more than a million nautical miles around the globe. Over 300,000 tourists visit the yacht each year. This is a place of Royalty and history, Holyroodhouse was the official Scottish residence of the Queen and was founded as a monastery in 1128. See our blog and video on the city after you have watched the ship.

Newhaven has a pier and a historic lighthouse that lie between Leith and Granton. It is mainly a cargo port and serves international ferries that run to Dieppe, and Seine-Maritime. The old train ferry line is derelict now, although it is well serviced by the Newhaven Harbour railway station. There is also a Victorian fish market, where fishing was built up after the opening of the railway line from Lewes to Newhaven in 1847. Fishing was part of the lifeblood of Edinburgh along with coopering, the making of barrels along with the shipping it serviced. See our blog on Leith, Ocean terminal which is a 20-minute tender ride away and then a short walk or shuttle to the terminal where there are buses and a shopping centre because it is near to the city centre and different buses take you to various parts of the picturesque, beautiful city. But at the Ocean Terminal, you will also find the Royal Yacht Britannia.

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