Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal Yacht Britannia

Queen Elizabeth once said that the Royal Yacht Britannia was the only place she could truly relax, and we’re inclined to agree. After 968 official voyages worldwide, which counted for over 1 million nautical miles to 135 countries, the Royal Yacht Britannia is now a tourist attraction just two miles from Edinburgh’s city centre. The Royal Yacht Britannia has been visited by several world-famous people, including Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill, and potentially you too!

The floating palace of the British royal family is a sublime tourist attraction nestled near the Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre in Leith. With plenty of attractions to see within this royal household on the water, we’ll be breaking essential details to know and the top things to do on your visit. Sit tight and enjoy!

Important Details to Know

Before you board Britannia and explore the royal halls, remember these important details to make your trip successful. Firstly, the Royal Yacht Britannia allows guide dogs on the premises, with special considerations for hearing and recognised assistance dogs.

The Royal Yacht Britannia is also a Class 1 Wheelchair Access, allowing for highly accessible wheelchair service without assistance.

How to Get There

You may be asking yourself, “Where is the Royal Yacht Britannia?”. Luckily, the Royal Yacht Britannia is located 20 minutes away from Edinburgh’s city centre, in the picturesque region of Leith. The Visitor Centre can be found on the second floor of the Ocean Terminal Centre and can be reached using a variety of transport methods.


The Royal Yacht Britannia is only a 20-minute drive from the city centre and a 40-minute drive if you’re arriving from Edinburgh Airport. From the city centre, follow the signs north towards Leith and then the signs for the Royal Yacht Britannia.

There is parking available within the Ocean Terminal Visitor Centre, with Level E the closest place to park. Free car parking and disability-access parking are available.


The Train Station near Royal Yacht Britannia is the Edinburgh Waverly Station. Further passage via car, tram, bike, or bus from the station is necessary to reach the attraction and visitor centre. You can also arrive in style on the Edinburgh Orient Express.


Edinburgh’s Lothian Bus Services can conveniently reach the Royal Yacht Britannia via the 10, 16, 34, and 35 lines. Ticket prices for the service vary, but generally, a single ticket costs £2, and a day ticket costs £5.

Opening Times

Opening times for the Royal Yacht Britannia vary throughout the year, but the attraction is generally open from 10:00 to 17:00, with longer hours during the summer months (April through September). Last admissions are two hours before closing time, so ensure you do not arrive afterwards to avoid disappointment.

Ticket Prices

Royal Yacht Britannia tickets for adults cost £19.50 per person, Child (5-17) tickets cost £9.25 per person, and Family Tickets cost £50.00 (2 Adults, up to 3 Children). Children under 5 enter for free.

It’s recommended that tickets be pre-booked online. Expect your tour through this visitor attraction to take about an hour and a half.


Now that all the logistics and tickets are sorted, you can look forward to seeing why the Royal Yacht Britannia was voted the Best UK Attraction by Tripadvisor Travellers Choice in 2023. The Britannia Royal Yacht has 40 years of incredible history and unique insight to offer its visitors, with many of its features maintained precisely the same as when the royal family used it.

Here are the top attractions you should take the time to see when you visit Royal Yacht Britannia

Stop by the Visitor Centre First

Visitor Centre

Before setting foot on the mighty vessel, stop by the Royal Yacht Britannia Visitor Centre first! It’s located at the Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, and has all the necessary information you’d need before hopping aboard the Britannia.

If you have any questions about the attraction, queries about your ticket, or want to know where the gift shop is, then this is the place to ask.

Tour Britannia’s Five Decks

Britannia Five Deck

The Royal Family were sailing in opulence aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, and visitors can explore the five decks of the Royal Yacht Britannia interior and exterior to their heart’s content. There are countless things to see, but here are a few that you should not miss during your visit while aboard this racing yacht:

Explore the Sun Lounge

Sun Lounge

Welcome to Queen Elizabeth’s favourite room aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Sun Lounge. The late Queen would often enjoy her breakfast and afternoon meals within the Sun Lounge because of its relative solitude and stunning views it grants. Admire the polished wood and blue hues as you relive the sights and sounds that made this location the Queen Mother’s favourite.

Fans of the show “The Crown” will likely remember this iconic room from the series, although no actual filming took place within the Sun Lounge.

Engine Room

Engine Room

One of the highlights of the Royal Yacht Britannia is undoubtedly the gleaming Engine Room, which has remained almost unchanged since its construction in 1953. For a nearly 75-year-old relic, you wouldn’t be faulted for believing that it’s brand new! The polished chrome, white enamel, and black steam turbines offer a unique industrial flair that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world.

You can imagine the hustle and bustle of the room, filled with hot steam and engineers making the mighty vessel cut through the seven seas to their next port. The Engine Room is an immersive and well-maintained part of the Britannia that you can’t miss while aboard.

Royal Deck Tearoom


Once you’ve explored the interior of Royal Yacht Britannia and have worked up an appetite, there’s no better place to sate it than the Royal Deck Tearoom. You can enjoy freshly baked cakes and scones alongside a selection of sandwiches and soups, all with a view out to Leith Harbour from the “Rolls Royce of Ships”.

The Royal Deck Tearoom also has a selection of exquisite teas for you to enjoy, including the Champagne Cream Tea! There’s something surreal about sipping tea where the Royal Family once played cards, an experience you can only enjoy from the Royal Deck Tearoom aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh.

The Royal Deck Tearoom has limited capacity and is unable to take reservations or bookings, so guests should expect a first-come, first-served system. The Tearoom has wheelchair accessibility and is only available for those with an admissions ticket to the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Take an Audio Tour

Audio Tour

You can learn about the fascinating history of the Royal Yacht Britannia through the attraction’s audio tour! Children especially will love the audio tour’s child-curated guide, which offers the chance to unleash their inner Captain and search the five decks of the Britannia for the Cuddly Corgis hidden away within.

For the adults, the audio tour will cover the Britannia’s history from its maiden voyage to the decommissioning ceremony that led it to be the attraction it is today. If you want additional insight and fun facts while exploring the ship, then the audio guide will be your best friend.

See the State Apartments

State Apartments

The State Apartments are another grand highlight of the tour within the Royal Yacht Britannia, featuring some of the world’s most iconic dining rooms, bedrooms, and staterooms. The list of important locations within the State Apartments should be shorter, but we’ve tried to cover the top sights to watch out for.

Firstly, the State Drawing Room. This atmospheric room has a lively energy, even when empty, and was host to the likes of Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, and Sir Noel Coward — who all loved playing the immaculate keys of the Welmar Baby Grand Piano that sits within the room.

The grandest room aboard the Britannia is the State Dining Room, whose guest list would make anyone’s jaw drop! The dining room has seen Churchill, Mandela, Clinton, and even Reagan. There are several easter eggs throughout the dining room, such as the giant whalebone that Prince Philip found on Deception Island or a wooden shark signed by the adults of Pitcairn Island.

In all their former glory, the State Apartments are the Royal’s bedrooms, including the Queen’s bedroom. While it may be tempting to jump into the bed and see what thread the Royal Family sleeps on, we ask you refrain from doing so, or the Royal Yachtsmen will be very upset with you.

Shop at the Royal Yacht Britannia Gift Shop

Gift Shop

There’s nothing quite like some retail therapy to make you feel like a Royal after exploring the Britannia. Luckily, the gift shop aboard this royal vessel has terrific souvenirs to take home with you. There’s a little something for everyone, from miniature replicas of the Britannia to Royal paraphernalia and even Royal Navy equipment.

Enjoy Britannia’s Events


Throughout the year, the Royal Yacht Britannia comes alive with corporate and public events. You can purchase tickets during many of Scotland’s most famous holidays if you want to celebrate in an unparalleled setting. Live it up aboard Britannia during Hogmanay, Burns Supper, or Christmas — complete with live music, delicious food, and an unmatched atmosphere.

The Royal Yacht Britannia is also available for exclusive use, including private tours and events. This Royal ship is a magnificent setting for a reception or company year-end bash, so why not create a memorable place for your most important moments?

Interesting Facts About The Royal Yacht Britannia

What do you do to impress your friends and family with some interesting facts about the Royal Yacht Britannia during your visit? Remember these interesting facts and show off your Royal knowledge:

  • The marvelous gold and white binnacle situated on the Britannia’s veranda is actually originally part of the HMY Royal George (which was named after King George VI) — Queen Victoria’s royal yacht!
  • Below the silver-grey carpet within the State Dining Room is a lavish wooden dance floor, last used for Princess Anne’s lively 21st birthday celebration.
  • King Charles (then Prince Charles) and Princess Diana spent their honeymoon cruise aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1981.
  • Prince Philip kept a model replica of the HMS Magpie in his office aboard the Britannia, the first royal navy ship he commanded.
  • The beautiful and stately steering wheel at the ship’s helm was originally taken from the racing yacht HMY Britannia, which was built for King Edward VII in 1893. It’s one of the oldest parts of the ship!

Now that you’re well equipped with facts to tackle the Royal Yacht Britannia, why not book your trip to Scotland’s most beloved tourist attraction and enjoy its magnificence in person?

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