We concluded our stay in Edinburgh with a trip to the former Royal Yacht, the Britannia. Also known the Floating Palace, it was used frequently by the Royal Family until it retired in 1997. The yacht was most definitely suited to the needs of royalty with several bedrooms, a grand dining room and ample space for relaxation.
The tour of the boat began in the bridge where it was awesome to see the slightly dated navigation equipment in sound condition. Sitting in the Captain’s chair was also rather amusing. We then progressed to the captain’s quarters as well as the officers’ quarters which were rather modest.
Naturally, the Royal rooms were decorated with whatever was desired. Despite this, I found the Queen’s and Prince Phillips room less extravagant than they could have been. The drawing room and dining hall were far grander, the dining hall boasting treasures from around the world including a small Easter Island Head, whale rib, hand carved wooden Galapagos tortoise and a Sioux Peace Pipe, to name but a few.
The Crew’s quarters were rather small but a vast improvement on hammocks of old which had been replaced with 3-beds-high bunk beds. Their relaxation space was smaller but it felt more homely in my opinion. Their dining space was a touch similar to the Royal family’s with silverware from different parts of the world being housed in display cabinets, the Danish ceramic polar bear stealing the show for me. The medical centre reminded me of something out of horror film in all honesty, the yellow lighting really not helping the matter. To round off the horror film vibe, there were mannequins “practicing instruments” and one had nothing short of a smile to haunt ones dreams for a good few days.
The engine room was perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the ship. The engine had been kept in pristine condition and it had a wonderful shine that made it look rather beautiful in its own right. The technology used for the engine was not the most up-to-date but it had worked almost perfectly throughout its 43 year service. We finished our trip to the boat, and to Edinburgh , really, with some tea and cake in the cafe on the former royal deck. The view of Debenhams’ delivery doors was simply sublime (Joking aside, the view of the port was actually rather nice once I turned to look at it).
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