The airplane is the world’s most widely used means of transport for long distances, but this was not always the case. And if not, let them tell Queen Elizabeth, who until recently made her travels and tours of the Commonwealth aboard a most interesting ship: the Britannia, which today can be visited in Edinburgh.
A boat with history
Built in the Scottish shipyards of John Brown & Co, in Clydebank (very close to Glasgow) this ship is also known as HMY, which means “Her Majesty Yatch”. On 16 April 1953 he made his first voyage from Portsmouth to Malta; and was active until December 1997, having sailed more than one million nautical miles.
During the time that Britannia was the official ship of Her Majesty the Queen, she made almost 700 trips in international waters and a lot of personalities like Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan got on board to have meetings with Queen Elizabeth!
Alas, if ox eyes speak, the interesting conversations that will have taken place on that ship…
After its withdrawal from circulation in 1997, Britannia came to live in the port of Leith in Edinburgh, as a floating museum. Today, it receives many visits from both tourists and local inhabitants and the truth is that it is an impressive boat, both inside and outside. I do not fail to recommend it to all those who ask us for ideas on Edinburgh and that is why I come here today with this post under my arm.
How to visit Britannia
To get to the moored location, the best route from downtown Edinburgh is by bus. Number 22 has several stops on Princes Street and takes you to the boat.
Once there, you have to buy a ticket (16.50 pounds per adult, you have family and student tickets), they give you an audio guide in several languages… and then you go inside the boat.
You can also buy the ticket online and pass directly, in addition to being able to pay in euros from your home.
With its three masts, you’ll be amazed at the enormous number of rooms and stays it hides inside, including a 24-hour laundry!
It also has a restaurant where you can eat or drink coffee and a gift and souvenir shop.
The best of Britannia
The queen’s car
It has a garage where a Rolls Royce is parked, which the Queen used to move when she arrived at her destination.
The Admiral’s cabin
You can visit the cabin of the Admiral, who was in charge of the boat while they were sailing. His room is much bigger than that of the rest of the sailors, who slept in bunk beds!
In the Royal Apartments area you can see the Queen’s and Prince Philip’s rooms. I was a little surprised that they had separate rooms but I suppose they come in handy in case one of the two had any discomfort.
In any case, it is no small thing to be able to see the Queen’s bedroom on the boat, as it is the only one of a living monarch that is currently shown.
You will also see a large hall where banquets were held on board, as well as other events. This room was decorated with objects that the Queen received as a gift in her many travels. I always wondered what they will do with so many gifts, now I know the answer …
An immense cover
And of course, you will be able to walk on the deck, enjoying the views that one day the Queen herself observed from her yacht.
Buy tickets: You can buy them on site or buy online.
Location: Located in the port of Leith, on the outskirts of the city, in front of the Ocean Terminal shopping center.
Directions: You can use bus 22 in the city centre.