You Can Tour Queen Elizabeth II’s Former Yacht

published Sep 20, 2022
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The Royal Yacht
Credit: Royal Yacht Britannia

While many Royal Family enthusiasts may know about Queen Elizabeth II’s numerous former homes located throughout the U.K., there is one particular residence that is not as well known as the others: the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is open to the public for tours. 

Credit: Royal Yacht Britannia

The yacht — which is sometimes called Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia — was in service from 1954 to 1997. It was built in Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, a town in Scotland, at the shipyard of John Brown & Co. Ltd. The Royal Yacht Britannia is the 83rd and seemingly final royal yacht in existence, with the first of its kind being one that was created during the reign of King Charles II, in the 1600s.

Credit: Royal Yacht Britannia

Throughout its 43 years of service, Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia traveled upwards of a million miles across the world, across 968 official visits. Since 1998, it has been docked at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh, Scotland and attracts more than 300,000 visitors a year.

Although the Royal Yacht Britannia was designed to have the option of transforming into a hospital ship during war, it was never used for this purpose. In 1986, however, the yacht was used to rescue some 1,000 refugees from the Yemen city of Aden.

Credit: Royal Yacht Britannia

Presently, whoever visits the yacht is treated to the sight of numerous personal photographs of the royal family, countless chintz furnishings, and even a piano that Princess Diana played. You can also enjoy a meal in the Royal Deck Tea Room, the same space where members of the Royal Family enjoyed partaking in games and entertainment. 

Queen Elizabeth II herself once described Britannia as “the one place I can truly relax,” while Prince Philip declared that it “is a splendid example of contemporary British design and technology.” You can explore the historic yacht for yourself by purchasing tour tickets here.