For 44 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia carried the British royal family across the high seas to destinations near and far. After retiring in 1997, the vessel took up a permanent residency at the historic port of Leith in Edinburgh, where curious visitors now come to find out more about royal life at sea.
The Royal Yacht Britannia is often visited as part of a guided excursion from Edinburgh port and on royal-themed day trips around Scotland’s capital.. View photographs and exhibits about the yacht and pick up a headset for a self-guided audio tour around the vessel at the Visitor Centre. On board, explore the lavish state drawing room, the queen’s bedroom, the crew’s quarters, the engine room, and the sun lounge, reportedly the queen's favorite room.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Royal Yacht Britannia is ideal for royal enthusiasts, and anyone with an interest in the Royal Navy or British history, in general.
- The yacht is fully wheelchair accessible.
- A special version of the audio tour is available for children..
- Purchase drinks, light meals, and snacks at the Royal Deck Tea Room on board.
- Allow around 2 hours to cover the exhibits at the visitor center and the yacht itself.
How to Get There
The Royal Yacht Britannia is berthed in the port of Leith, around 2 miles (3 kilometers) from Edinburgh city center. Bus routes 11, 22, and Skylink 300 connect the city center to the Ocean Terminal waterfront shopping center, where Britannia is located. Hop-on hop-off bus tours also stop at Ocean Terminal.
When to Get There
Royal Yacht Britannia is busiest during in August. Allow extra time to tour the vessel if visiting at this time. Early mornings are quietest.
The Storied History of Royal Yacht Britannia
The last in a long line of more than 80 royal yachts, Royal Yacht Britannia has welcomed many esteemed guests on board, including Sir Winston Churchill, Boris Yeltsin, and Nelson Mandela. During its 44-year tenure, the yacht covered more than 1 million miles, carrying the queen and other dignitaries to destinations in Britain and beyond.