As Edinburgh's main tourism season gets underway, The Royal Yacht Britannia celebrates 15 years and four million visitors since her arrival in the city. Officially Scotland's best visitor attraction, the iconic ship is a five-star visitor attraction, berthed in Edinburgh's historic Port of Leith. For seven years running, with a quality assurance score of 96%, Britannia has been officially pronounced Scotland's Best Visitor Attraction by Scotland's national tourism agency, VisitScotland.
This absolute commitment to quality, throughout every facet of the business, resulted in a total of 295,000 visitors to the Royal Yacht last year, and the most successful year for the business, since opening in 1998, bucking the general trend across the tourism industry in Scotland. Owned and managed by a wholly self-financing charitable trust, Britannia has proven to be a major success, as a visitor attraction, and exclusive evening events venue.
With a commitment to delivering an outstanding customer experience, the ship now employs more than 150 people during the summer season. Bob Downie, Chief Executive of The Royal Yacht Britannia comments: "We are all extremely proud of how popular Britannia has become, as a visitor attraction, since 'retiring' from active service, which is testament to those who built her, those who served aboard, and those who now lovingly care for the former Royal Yacht."
For more information or images of Britannia, please call 0131 555 8800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTES FOR EDITORS: 1. During the last 15 years, in her role as an award-winning visitor attraction, additional decks of Britannia have been opened to the public, with notable enhancements being the construction of the stunning Royal Deck Tea Room which opened in 2009, and now serves 100,000 customers annually. 2. In January, 2010 Britannia purchased the former Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound, originally built in 1936, and which was owned by Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in the 1960s. This 63ft yacht, upon which HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Anne learnt to sail, is now the centrepiece of the onboard Royal Sailing exhibition. In July and August, it is based at Oban Marina and available for day sailing charter, skippered and crewed by former Royal Yachtsmen.
Having created an outstanding reputation for hosting exclusive evening events, the Britannia's charitable trust was delighted when The Queen's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, made an emotional return to Britannia to host her pre-wedding reception in July 2011. The event was attended by nine members of the Royal Family, including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In January 2012, Britannia went into dry dock for the first time in nearly 14 years. The out of water surveyed confirmed that yacht was in excellent condition, recommending that it would be another 15-20 years before this would be necessary again. The Royal Yacht also recently marked the 60th anniversary of her launch in 1953.
The Royal Yacht Britannia is owned by a charitable trust(SC028070) and all surplus funds are reinvested in protecting her for future generations.
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