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The Royal Yacht for more than 4 decades

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State Dining Room
Rolls Royce
Queen's Bedroom
Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia was the official floating residence of the Royal Family for over 4 decades. During that time, the ship visited over 600 ports in 135 different countries. Altogether it travelled more than 1.7 million kilometres, a distance that's equivalent to about 43 circumnavigations of the globe.

Photo Mr ATM
The Britannia's decks have been graced by some very well-known people. World leaders like Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela have been aboard, as have several US presidents. The ship's 968 journeys ranged from important state visits to Charles and Diana's honeymoon.
The official decommissioning took place in 1997, after 44 years of service. Her Majesty the Queen, who attended its launch all those years ago, was also present at this final ceremony. As she left the craft for the final time, the usually composed monarch shed a tear for her faithful vessel.
The ship is permanently moored at Edinburgh's Leith Harbour. These historic docks have recently been redeveloped into a modern retail and dining destination. The Britannia is next to Ocean Terminal, a shopping centre at the heart of the new area. Access to the yacht is through this building, via a visitor centre on the second floor. Various relics and photographs give you an overview of its history before you board the real thing.

On board Britannia
Photo kevgibbo
You'll soon notice that everything has been kept in the same fine condition as it was when the monarchy sailed her. The State Dining Room is particularly lavish. After dinner, the Royal Family often relaxed in the sitting room or caught a few rays on the sun lounge. Both of these areas are open to the public.
One of the Britannia's more unexpected sights is its garage, and the vintage Rolls Royce that's housed within. Don't be confused! The monarchy weren't racing cars up and down the decks! This was how the ship's passengers continued their journeys in style - straight off the boat and onto the dock. Another surprise attraction is the Queen's bedroom. It's sealed off behind a glass wall, but just setting eyes on it is an incredible privilege. You're not given a merest glimpse at any of the other royal residences.
The person in charge of piloting the ship was the Admiral, whose quarters are on full display. You'll also visit some of the other, more functional parts of the craft, like the laundry and the sick bay.

The ships bell
Photo eguidetravel
During your tour there's a chance to stop at the Royal Deck Tea Room, overlooking the waterfront. Customers are separated from the outdoors by a glass screen. This doesn't hamper the view, but it does ensure that your tea or coffee doesn't blow away in the Edinburgh wind!
Visitor Information
The Royal Yacht Britannia is open daily from 10am to 3:30pm (extended in Spring and Summer). Entry costs around £12 for adults, £8 children. Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ. Tel: 0131 555 5566

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