Britannia's Weekly 'Snaps'

Photography has always played an important role on Britannia. While she was in service, there was always a Yottie appointed, nicknamed 'Snaps', to take photographs of life on board the Royal Yacht.

In keeping with this tradition, we now have our own Photographer in Residence, Ruth Armstrong, who has been capturing our very own Weekly 'Snaps' - a collection of snapshots of life around the ship today.

August 2017

12 - 18 August: Triominos, home-made cakes and unique gifts!

The sun was shining on Leith this week with families taking advantage of the good weather to play Triominos on the Verandah Deck. The Galley team have been busy making the popular cakes on offer in the Royal Deck Tea Room, including chocolate fudge cakes and traditional Dundee cakes. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, prepared the chocolate shells for petit fours which were served at an exclusive evening event. This week, we welcomed aboard Rhianne, Finance Manager and Jim Bowie, Security Officer to the Britannia team. The Gift Shop features stunning necklaces from Indulgence’s range including a unique necklace made with a real leaf.

Paul A. completed the first stage in renewing the detail on the cypher as he applied a base coat layer of paint. Paul then sanded the Shelter Deck backboard and steps. Ian welded the mesh infills for stanchions on the pontoon. Sean and Martin worked on handrails whilst Mark S. created the framework for a new ramp on the Shelter Deck. Dean M. and Liam removed and protected items in the Generator Room before Nigel applied a fresh coat of paint. Dean S. fitted blanks over removed pipework and painted the blanks white.

5 - 11 August: A new record number of visitors!

We have had a busy week on board, with over 2,500 visitors on Tuesday, our best ever day since opening in 1998! Our Visitor Assistants have been meeting and greeting our visitors and taking photographs for them across the Royal Yacht’s five decks. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, prepared the delicious home-baked cakes that are served in the Royal Deck Tea Room, while Resident Confectioner, Poppy, filled the tasting boxes with a selection of flavours of fudge, all made on board in the NAAFI.

We were delighted to welcome aboard too, this week, the winners of our primary schools’ ‘Design Your Own Coat of Arms’ competition, Clara and Abby and their families, for a VIP tour of Britannia. TV presenter Dan Snow and his BBC film crew were on board the former Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound which is currently in Oban with day charters, sailing around Scotland’s West Coast. In celebration of HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip’s, Platinum, 70th anniversary, our Gift Shop features their beautiful limited edition Steiff bear. 

Tony raised the dress ship flags, while Martin moved a gate on the Pontoon. Ian and Britannia’s Head of Maintenance, Derek, then looked into the options for fitting a gate on the new Pontoon. Dean M. continued the ongoing refurbishment in the Admiral’s Cabin, as he prepared to paint the Admiral’s Bathroom. Nigel worked from the portable scaffolding to apply a fresh coat of paint on the Royal Barge davit. After giving the Fo’c’s’le handrails a light rub, Paul A. applied a solvent wipe, before varnishing. Mark S fitted the curtain holdback hooks, while Chris painted a fire hydrant. 

July 2017

29 July - 4 August: Come rain or shine, there’s lots going on aboard Britannia!

Visitors have enjoyed taking photographs on Britannia’s five decks this week, with a favourite spot beside the statue of longest serving Royal Yachtsman, Ellis 'Norrie' Norrell MVO RVM. As the school holidays continue across the UK, we have been delighted to welcome lots of families, as they learn about life aboard Britannia. This week, we feature the Galley team, creating the delicious homemade chocolate fudge cakes which are served in the Royal Deck Tea Room. The Gift Shop is ready for the school autumn term starting, with a great new range of bags, pencils and water bottles.

Ian fitted the rudder to Coweslip, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Flying Fifteen Keel Boat. Chris painted the Royal Barge davit, as Paul D. fitted new lighting in the Sailing Exhibition. Euan sanded down and replaced a davit cover. Liam painted the fire hydrant, while Jos painted the Admiral's Sleeping Cabin. Sean sanded a rope box, which Jay then cleaned, prior to varnishing.

22 - 28 July: Champagne and corgis!

Our visitors were snapped by our Photographer in Residence, Ruth, in the beautiful summer sunshine as they explored Britannia’s five decks. Our dedicated Housekeeping team continued their hard work, ensuring that Britannia is maintained to the same high standards as when in Royal Service. The Tea Room showed their summer special of Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial, the first Champagne designed to be served over ice, finished with a slice of grapefruit. The Galley team have been busy preparing the delicious home-made soups and cakes that feature on the Royal Deck Tea Room menu. Our cuddly corgis continue to be as popular as ever, as visitors try to spot them out and about on the tour route.

Ian created a mesh for the new pontoon and fitted nylon to the ramp. Dean M. and Paul A. worked on the Shelter Deck steps as Dean painted the handrails and Paul stained the steps. Sean continued the team’s work in removing the remaining sections of the original pontoon. Sean and Martin polished the cap ends for handrails, as Nigel refreshed a davit with a new coat of paint. Ian secured the Verandah Deck awning which shelters the Britannia bell.

15 - 21 July: Summer sunshine and Triominoes!

The summer sunshine arrived this week! Whilst enjoying the beautiful weather visitors played a game of Triominoes on the Verandah Deck. Freshly made on board, delicious slices of cake, including carrot cake, Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle, were very popular in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, was snapped creating an intricate chocolate cylinder to form part of an evening event dessert. Marketing Executive, Dean, took a great picture of the cruise ship Nautica arriving in Leith. We welcomed Joanna Wyatt on board to view Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound which was originally owned by Joanna’s father-in-law, Sir Myles Wyatt. We feature a snap of our staff choir rehearsing on board. The Gift Shop show their range of pirate themed gifts for little ones over the summer holidays.

Final preparations continued on Bloodhound prior to sailing to Oban for day charters, as Rab attached and cleaned Bloodhound's anchor. Aboard Britannia, Dean M., Euan and Liam prepped the Fast Motor Launch, forward whaler and Portside Upper Deck davits. Chris painted the cable trays on the Starboard Upper Deck, whilst Ian repaired a safe lock. Dean S. removed the access panel of the down pipe from the Tea Room roof. Mark S. made a new signage board for the Upper Deck, as Paul A. completed woodwork sanding and varnishing.  

8 - 14 July: Fudge, Cake and Fingal!

The tour route has been busy with lots of visitors enjoying the NAAFI's own fudge and freshly baked cakes in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, has been busy baking our home made sour dough bread rolls, as well as the delicious traditional Scottish Dundee cake, served in the Royal Deck Tea Room. The Gift Shop feature their best-selling white bone china mugs, available with a gold or coloured crest.

Members of the Britannia team have had the opportunity to have a preview of Fingal, as we see huge amounts of work and progress on board. Owned by Britannia's trading company, Royal Yacht Enterprises, former lighthouse tender, The Fingal, is due to open as a luxury floating hotel in Spring 2018.

The Maintenance team has been hard at work finishing tasks on board HRH Prince Philip’s former Royal Sailing Yacht, Bloodhound, prior to sailing to Oban at the end of July. Euan, Rab and Ian made sure that Bloodhound has the necessary life raft and fresh water supply while Gary and Mark L. fixed the steps used to board Bloodhound from the pontoon. Jay and Sean worked on the handrails on the pontoon gangway. Euan, Chris and Nigel washed down the Shelter Deck, then Rab, Euan and Nigel washed down the Tea Room windows.

1 - 7 July: Scottish Summer holiday and the Wardroom monkey!

The Scottish Summer holidays started this week bringing new visitors to explore Britannia. The Galley team have been busy preparing for evening events taking great care, down to the finest details. Chef de Partie, Mariusz, created delicious sweet petit fours, including marshmallows covered in toasted coconut and squares of home-made tablet. Congratulations this week to our Health, Safety and Security Manager, Darren who graduated with a NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety. We feature the original wooden monkey which, while Britannia was in service, would be found each day in different places around the Officers’ Wardroom, although nobody was allowed to move the monkey! Produced by the same Danish company who made the original, the charming wooden monkeys are now available to buy from our Gift Shop. The Shop also introduce a new foldable shopping bag with our Royal Yacht print design.

Prior to Bloodhound's charter sailing in Oban, the Maintenance team have been hard at work completing their final checks. Ian checked the fuel tanks whilst Paul D. worked on the shore power extension. Mark S. ensured that the link to the hatch on Bloodhound was watertight. On board Britannia, Dean M., Euan, Sean and Liam worked on the individual components for the Starboard Shelter Deck ladder.

June 2017

24 - 30 June: Scallops, shortbread and sailor's hats!

Aboard Britannia, visitors toured the five decks, tasting the NAAFI's delicious fudge and trying on the sailor hats in the Petty Officers' and Royal Marine Sergeants' Mess. In the Galley, the team have been busy preparing the elements for exclusive evening events. From shucking the scallops to the perfect shortbread rounds, all the exquisite food is made on board in the Royal Galley. As HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary this year, the Gift Shop feature their new Dunnon commemorative mug. Metal signs are also available from the shop with a vintage illustration of Britannia.

This week the Maintenance team worked through the varying Scottish Summer weather! Nigel, Liam, Jos and Euan deep cleaned the Quarter Deck whilst Sean stripped the varnish from a ladder on the Shelter Deck. Stuart made a wooden bung and Mark S. made a temporary end panel for a vent unit. Paul A. sanded and varnished handrails as Ian repaired a foot from a radiator. Martin and Sean re-assembed two boxes from the Quarter Deck and then put the stainless steel chaffing plates back in place on the Shelter Deck.

17 - 23 June: Sunshine, Scones and Corgis!

As the UK experienced a heatwave, our visitors enjoyed the glorious sunshine whilst exploring Britannia's five decks. The Galley team have been busy keeping up with the demand for our delicious, freshly baked fruit and cheese scones and carrot cake. The Cuddly Corgis are out in full force on board the yacht as the Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt continues throughout the Summer. Resident Confectioner, Poppy, has been busy ensuring that there will be a plentiful supply of home-made fudge over the busy Summer months.


HRH Prince Philip’s Flying Fifteen Sailing Yacht, COWESLIP, which is on loan with kind permission of the Royal Collection and the Cowes Classic Boat Museum ( was unveiled on the quayside this week and Tony fitted a temporary waterproof cover to allow the yacht to go on display. Euan and Chris painted the Starboard side davits on the Shelter Deck. Paul A. and Jay worked on handrails for the pontoon. Paul A. then painted the gold leaf on to the stern cypher. Ian and Sean fitted the mesh on the pontoon handrails and Paul D. wired a light on to a pontoon stanchion. Stuart fitted a new drain pipe to the Tea Room, as Mark L. fitted new panels to an air handing unit.

10 - 16 June: Cuba Libre, Brian Cox and 'Design Your Own Family Crest' Winners!

This weekend, the Royal Deck Tea Room will be celebrating Father's Day with a Cuba Libre Cocktail special, made with Pusser's Rum which was used by the Royal Yachtsmen for their daily Rum 'Tot'. Ruth went behind the scenes in the Galley to snap preparations for evening events this week; from mouthwatering canapés to delicious Apple Tarte Tatin. We were delighted to welcome aboard Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor, Brian Cox for a tour of the Royal Yacht in the run up to the release of his new film 'Churchill'.

Head of Marketing, Lynda, and Press and PR Assistant, Jen, made a trip to Bearsden Primary School and Sheuchan Primary School in Stranraer to present the two winners of our 'Design Your Own Family Crest' competition with bumper supplies of arts and crafts. On Saturday we turned Britannia pink for MoonWalk Scotland and, back on board, the chairs in the Officers' Wardroom had a makeover, as the upholsterers fitted new loose covers.

Ewan painted and touched up the Admiral's Fast Motor Launch, FML, on the quayside before it was craned back into the water.  Mark cut away a section of redundant seating, while Nigel removed patches of rust from the Lift Tower. Gary manufactured a picture frame for the Admiral's cabin. Jos painted the repaired hatch for the Admiral's FML and Dean painted the seating below the water pump. Stuart painted the repaired Britannia parking sign and work continued on the pontoon, with Ian inserting a plate manufactured for bolting in a stanchion. Ian and Jay moved a section of the pontoon walking board for repairs, while  Stuart fitted a water pump to one of the stanchions.

3 - 9 June: Marcel Le Corgi and Father's Day gifts!

As a week’s worth of rain fell in one day in Edinburgh this week, our visitors kept warm and dry onboard, with others enjoying the home-made soups and hot drinks on offer in the Royal Deck Tea Room. The Galley team has been hard at work preparing delicious dishes for our exclusive evening events. We were delighted to welcome on board social media star 'Marcel Le Corgi' for a photoshoot. Health and Safety Manager, Darren, modelled the new rugby shirt from our Gift Shop and the Shop showed off their top gifts for Father's Day.

The Maintenance team has been working through the wet weather! Nigel and Jos cleaned the deckhead on the Port Upper Deck Forward. Ian completed cabling checks on Bloodhound and then made a spacer plate for the pontoon stanchions. Work continued on the refurbished pontoon. Jay scraped the varnish off a handrail and Sean then sanded the handrail and prepared the next set of stanchions to be put in place. Mark L. was in the workshop creating a new hatch for the Fast Motor Launch boat and a picture frame for the Petty Officers' Mess. 

May 2017

27 May - 2 June: Sunshine on Leith and lots of wildlife around!

Our visitors enjoyed touring Britannia's five decks this week with the sun shining down on Leith. Mel, Andrew and Juan joined the Housekeeping team who keep Britannia ship shape and we also welcomed new Visitor Assistant Danielle to the Britannia team. We were excited to see that the Goldfinch chicks hatched near Britannia and our photographer, Ruth, got a great peek at them with her long camera lens! We were also delighted to have a visit from an adult swan, feeding close to Britannia’s quayside.

Our judging panel had a tricky time picking the winners of our 'Design Your Own Family Crest' primary schools competition from over 600 entrants from across Scotland. The cuddly corgis are back on the tour route for the Summer holidays and, looking forward to Father's Day, the Gift Shop has the perfect gift with their new Britannia crested rugby shirts.

The team has had another busy week on board as Stuart, Dean S. and Tony removed the water tank and replaced it with a brand new tank and frame. Jay made handrails which Ian and Sean then fitted on to the pontoon. On the Upper Deck, Chris polished the remote operating plates, whilst Dean M. sanded the hull of the Admiral's Fast Motor Launch.

20 - 26 May: 'Yotties' week highlights!

Following last week's 'Yotties' annual working party, we take a look back at some of the week's highlights. We show behind the scenes photography from the Rum 'Tot' Ceremony. Ever popular, the Royal Yachtsmen chatted to visitors about life on board Britannia during their many years of service. Joining as a Visitor Assistant, we welcomed Peter Laverock to the Britannia team prior to our busy Summer season. The Gift Shop displayed their Britannia Earl Grey and Afternoon Tea blends, packaged in tea drums inspired by the sofa in The Queen's favourite room, the Sun Lounge.

The Maintenance team completed a range of tasks this week. Paul A. sanded the cypher from the stern of the ship, prior to painting. Jay made wooden dowels which were then fitted to the handrails. Mark S. created a display unit for the NAAFI, whilst Stuart fitted a new water connection at the Pontoon. Mark L. carried out a weld repair on the paint locker. Gary and Stuart worked together on a new side panel for the till in the Visitor Centre.

13 - 19 May: We welcomed back the former Royal Yachtsmen!

The Association of Royal Yachtsmen, ‘Yotties’, was founded in 1989 by Albert ‘Dixie’ Deane. It is dedicated to bringing together many of the estimated 1,767 ‘Yotties’ who served on board HMY Britannia between 14 January, 1954 and 11 December, 1997. We were delighted to welcome back the 'Yotties' for their annual working party, including the longest serving 'Yotties', 'Norrie' and ‘Dixie’ who were photographed with the Association of Royal Yachtsmen's flag. Our visitors enjoyed this rare opportunity to hear about life on board Britannia whilst she was in service. Andy Fletcher was in demand for 'selfies' with visitors at the Bridge. The 'Yotties' gathered on the Verandah Deck for the daily Rum 'Tot' Ceremony where the Chairman Rear Admiral Neil Rankin CB CBE toasted The Queen.

The 'Yotties' helped Britannia's current maintenance team cleaning the Port Whaler and painting on the Quarter Deck. The Chairman, Rear Admiral Neil Rankin CB CBE, spoke to members of the working party on the Fo'c'sle during painting. Bob Rayson and Smurf Murray-Smith helped to ensure that Britannia's Engine Room remains in immaculate condition. Ian, from Britannia's maintenance team, took measurements from the pontoon for a new gangway. Mark completed one cabinet and began work on a second unit for the NAAFI. Martin polished the end of a handrail and Jay fixed a scupper board.

6 - 12 May: Enjoy a sample of fudge and spot one of Edinburgh's 101 objects!

In the lovely weather this week, Visitor Assistant, Diane, was giving out sweets to visitors on the Verandah Deck. Liz. in our onboard NAAFI, served a young visitor. Don't forget to visit for your free sample! A family tries on the sailor hats in the Verge Inn. Janitor, Matieusz, cleans the Britannia Bell before visitors arrive and Housekeeping Team Leader, Linda, cleans what was Her Majesty The Queen's favourite room - The Sun Lounge. The Royal Deck Tea Room was busy with Kamila preparing a pot of tea and waiter, Kristina, serves visitors. Stephen Espouy, Executive Pastry Chef, creates mango tart dessert for an evening event on board. Diane, stands beside the Compass Binnacle which has been identified as one of the 101 objects in the celebration of Edinburgh’s year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Sales Assistant, Lizzie, serves a customer in our Gift Shop, where the Newbridge silverware Romance of Scotland range is available with a cute Scottie dog and a Scottish Piper on sale.

Ahead of cleaning, Nigel and Mark lowered timber supports for the Royal Barge to rest on. Many of our visitors drop a "lucky penny" into the Royal Barge pond. Mark removed the coins which will be donated to Loch Lomond's Paddle Steamer, Maid of the Loch. Stuart drained the water from the Royal Barge pond, while Maintenance Team Manager, Tony, cleaned the hull of the Royal Barge, helped by Nigel and Ewan. Gary screwed a chaffing plate into place on the Upper Deck and Dean M. removed the cipher from the Aft Deck for cleaning. Sean and Martin  worked on handrail repairs. Jos and Ewan washed and cleaned the stairs to the Royal Brow and Ian checked the battery for the activity boat.

April 2017

29 April - 5 May: Teasmith gin, Forth One and the Embroidery Collection!

This week we highlight our dedicated Housekeeping team who work tirelessly keeping Britannia in pristine condition, from polishing the antique silverware to tending to the flowers on the Quayside. Head Waiter, Morven, shows the latest drink on the Tea Room menu: Teasmith Gin and Tonic! In the Galley, Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, has been busy creating handmade petit fours for an evening event. Arlene and Boogie from local radio, Forth One's 'Boogie in the Morning' programme stopped by in their 'Super-Van' to collect a prize which will be auctioned in aid of Cash for Kids. We also welcome to the Marketing team, new Digital Media Executive, Michael Fahy.  The Gift Shop team shows a selection of China items from the Embroidery Collection which detail the butterflies and flowers as seen on the hand embroidered silk panels in The Queen's bedroom.

The workshop has been a hive of activity as Gary created a chaffing plate which will protect the paintwork underneath. Meanwhile, Mark worked on a frame for the Visitor Centre and Stuart created a new drainage pipe as Nigel cleaning out the crosspassage store. On board, Martin and Sean worked together to sand and attach fixings to a deck box. Jay fitted the handrails on the Royal Deck.

22 - 28 April: Trying out a new dessert, polishing up bronze statue, ‘Norrie’ and Sherlock returns!

We welcomed back on board Sherlock, the Corgi who appeared in our Corgi Christmas video. Visitors were given their complimentary audio handset from Visitor Assistant, Tim. Helgi welcomed visitors at our podium in Ocean Terminal. Housekeeper Matheusz cleaned our bronze statue of ‘Norrie' at the entrance to the Royal Brow. Our range of Champagnes which are all available in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Sous Chef, Brendan, sampled a beautiful new chocolate cherry dessert created by our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen. We welcome Neil Hunter to Britannia as our new IT Manager. A Britannia pewter porthole hip flask is one of the new additions to the Gift Shop along with Scotties magnetic 'To Do List' and roller ballpoint pen.

This week the Maintenance team undertook work on the forecastle with Martin and Sean removing handrails and Jay lowering the handrails down through the hatch. Chris removed the scupper board and carried out routine checks of the scupper trough. Jay assessed the scupper boards for repairs. Paul D. tested the slave unit from the emergency light system, while Ian polished a piece of deck tread in the workshop. Stuart carried out a trial of cable gland fitting to check if it would be watertight, before replicating on the pontoon. Dean S. dug out a hole on the quayside to insert our new parking signs.

15 - 21 April: Wardroom Collection!

With the Easter holidays, Britannia has been very busy this week with visitors touring Britannia's five decks, from the Verandah Deck to the NAAFI. We feature items from the Wardroom Collection, including a silver table lighter and Pegasus bowl with flying horse handles. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, and Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, were hard at work in the Galley preparing the lemon zest for the lemon drizzle cakes. The Gift Shop show their range of nautical t-shirts, as well as a Morris & Co. design inspired mug.

This week Tony, Nigel and Head of Maintenance, Derek, moved a ladder back to the main deck. Chris painted the stanchions outside the Royal Deck Tea Room. Sean, Jay and Martin fitted the back to the Upper Deck Port Waist ladder as Chris painted the Port Aft Accommodation ladder. Dean S. bolted down a hatch lid and removed a redundant pipe flange. Ian continued to work on the new decking on the Pontoon.

8 - 14 April: Bring your favourite cuddly toy to Britannia this Easter!

As we continue into the Easter holidays, our 'bring your cuddly toy' promotion has been a huge hit with lots of children bringing their favourite cuddly on board for a tour of Britannia. Ever busy in the Galley, rolls were being freshly baked to accompany our variety of hearty soups in the Royal Deck Tea Room, as well as exquisite chocolate petit fours created by Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen. Ruth,  Human Resource and Training Manager, welcomed new employees to the 'Britannia way' at the Company Awareness Day and The Gift Shop show their new black and white Britannia print, as well as their brilliant new ‘Message in a Bottle’ gift. Great fun and the perfect way to write home!

The Maintenance team has had a busy week with lots of jobs needing done around the Royal Yacht. Ian fixed the lashings to the Quarter Awning on the Verandah Deck, whilst Jay reaffixed the seat backing in the Chief Petty Officers' Mess. Jay and Sean then prepared the Royal Deck Tea Room handrails, ready for stripping back and varnishing. Ewan and Dean M. painted an undercoat to the Starboard Shelter Deck. Jay fitted an infill at the entrance to the Main Deck passageway. Stuart changed the filter on the water tank, as Chris dried out the scupper trough on the Royal Deck, prior to painting.

1- 7 April: COWESLIP arrives at Britannia!

This week we held a photoshoot for our new Groups Marketing photography with lovely sunny weather across Britannia's five decks. We go behind the scenes and show our resident confectioner, Poppy, creating the mouth-watering chocolate and mint flavoured fudge available in the NAAFI. Stepping into Spring, the dress ship flags can be seen flying in the wind. The Galley team has been busy preparing our delicious home-made soups for the Easter holidays in the Royal Deck Tea Room. The Gift Shop show their brand new range of Sheila Fleet jewellery.

We were excited about the arrival this week of COWESLIP, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Flying Fifteen keelboat, designed and built by the legendary raconteur Uffa Fox, as a wedding present to HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip. On loan for the next two years, everyone watched on as it was unpackaged by the Maintenance team in the aft Compound alongside Britannia. It was a busy week for the team. Ian adjusted the plinth prior to tiling while Paul A. continued work on the ladder to the Port Upper Deck Waist. Sean sanded a handrail from the Tea Room and Nigel worked on the Tea Room Scupper. Paul A. painted a coat of varnish on a door and prior to its annual test Ian removed the life raft. Ewan scraped loose paint from inside the davit.

March 2017

25 - 31 March: Easter Bunnies and loose leaf tea!

Spring has arrived at the Royal Yacht and we have seen some beautiful weather in the Port of Leith. Our Housekeeping Team have been ensuring that Britannia is gleaming and visitors have been enjoying the views from our Royal Deck Tea Room. New to the Tea Room, we are thrilled to now offer Pekoe loose leaf tea. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, has been hard at work, preparing the cute chicks and bunnies to top our special Easter cupcakes.

Human Resource and Training Manager, Ruth, lead the Retail and Visitor Assistants in an Accessible Tourism course. Meanwhile, Marketing Manager, Casey, and Head of Marketing, Lynda, launched our exciting 'Spot Clarence the Corgi' campaign with Lothian Buses. Inspired by the panel in The Queen's bedroom, our beautiful embroidery range of China teapots and cups, returns to the Gift Shop.

Chris and Ewan cleaned the jaluousies on the Starboard Shelter Deck. Dean M. worked on the areas of rust on the Starboard Shelter Deck scupper trough. Martin sanded the backboard of the ladder from the Port Upper Deck Waist. Jay then created wooden dowels which were fitted into the ladder. Mark made stanchions for the Pontoon. Ian fixed a door lock whilst Jos sanded the base of a Britannia model and Stuart put together a pipe connector.

18 - 24 March: The first week of spring aboard Britannia!

Visitors are always encouraged to photograph the many highlights whilst they explore Britannia's five decks. Seating is available in the Wardroom Anteroom to relax before proceeding to the Royal half of the Yacht. Despite the cold weather, including snow this week, we entered the first week of spring. In the onboard Pastry Galley, Stephen and Mariusz made a delicious selection of desserts for an evening drinks reception. Linda and her housekeeping team were busy cleaning and polishing the newly replaced handrails on the visitor route including the ceremonial dolphin placed at the top of the Royal Brow and, bringing glamour to any occasion is our latest jewellery collection available in the Gift Shop.

At the beginning of the week our Maintenance team completed work on the Upper Deck Port Side. Sean, Martin and Jay secured the chafing plates over the handrails. Chris touched up the paintwork, while Dean M. treated a patch of rust appearing on the Starboard side. Ian carried out a number of workshop tasks to improve the pontoon. Britannia's dress flags were raised ready for the spring and summer season. Mark L. carried out routine checks on the air handling unit, while Nigel did some spring cleaning. Paul worked on sanding hardwood and varnishing a handrail, as part of the Upper Deck Port Side maintenance.

 11 - 17 March: Easter bunnies and chicks!

Our visitors toured Britannia's decks this week, finding great photo opportunities on each deck, from the Wardroom to the Chief Petty Officers’ Mess. In the Galley, Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, created the first test batch of bunny and chick cupcake toppers for our Easter cupcakes which will be served in the Tea Room over the Easter holidays and Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen was making bread on board.

Marketing Manager, Emma, tried out a new desk which aims to improve posture, by alternating between standing and sitting positions. We were delighted to welcome on board Julie Etchingham with ITV Tonight, filming on Britannia. The Gift Shop introduced an exciting new addition in to the shop, our Britannia 16 year old Highland Single Malt Whisky, along with a new range of leather luggage tags, travel card holders and keyrings.

Work continued on the Upper Deck Port Waist as Nigel painted around the windows, Dean painted the top of the bulwark whilst Ewan and Chris painted the jalousie. Gary created a wooden template which will allow a metal framework to be made and attached, protecting the wall. Stuart fixed a ballcock for a cistern. Mark S. and Gary worked on the base for a Britannia model display case. They also repaired and replaced an access door. Ian repaired a metal door in the Tea Room Galley. Jay and Sean worked on the handrails and cap ends.

4 - 10 March: Swans and the onboard Rolls Royce!

Chef de Parties, Bob and Mariusz, were busy this week in the Galleys preparing for an evening event whilst Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, baked mouth-watering cakes to be served in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Former Britannia waitress Yasmin entertained the visitors in the Tea Room as she played delightful tunes on the piano. Two swans were spotted swimming alongside the bow of the Royal Yacht. We show a closer look inside the on board Rolls Royce. New to the Gift Shop this week, an intricate model of Britannia as well as ‘Floss and Rock’ games to sharpen logic reasoning and memory retention skills.

Stuart, Jay, Nigel and Martin continued to paint the Port Upper Waist Deck. Mark S. built a new display case for the The Royal Yacht Britannia model. Mark made a bracket which will be used on the pontoon. Ian pumped up the tyres on the Rolls Royce while Jay and Sean removed a handrail from the Port Upper Deck Waist. Dean S. and Stuart removed and re-fitted mirrors in the Ladies Corporate toilets as they checked the hot water boilers behind. Jos taped along the side of the iconic gold leaf line and was followed by Nigel, who applied a base coat for the gold leaf.

February 2017

25 February - 3 March: Pancake Day!

This week our visitors enjoyed the beautiful sunshine as they toured Britannia's five decks. The Galley team have been busy preparing hearty soups for our guests in the Tea Room. To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, Junior Sous Chef Michal made delicious pancakes with a range of sweet toppings. We were delighted to feature in the Scotsman Newspaper as our little pancake makers practised their flips on board!

Janitor and Housekeeper, Ricky and Susan, polished the High Constabulary Silver Batons. At the highest point of the yacht, a dress ship flag line was repaired. In our onboard photoshoot, we feature a variety of beautiful gifts for Mother’s Day.

This week Tony, Rab and Ewan powerwashed the awning on the Verandah Deck. Nigel treated the rust patches on the Port Upper Deck Waist. Martin and Jay removed the handrail and and worked on the area underneath. Ewan painted the top of the bulwark, whilst Jos vacuum cleaned the chippings on Port Upper Deck. Ian drilled out old bolts on the pontoon and Dean checked the hot water heater in the Ladies toilets. Mark S. and Gary made a lift machinery room access framework to fit in the lift tower. Sean removed one of the chaffing pieces on the wooden Upstand.

18 - 24 February: Carrot Cake and Miniature Souvenirs!

We photograph visitors in the Visitor Centre this week, where our stunning LEGO Britannia model can be seen. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, bakes delicious cakes, to be served in the Royal Deck Tea Room. We take a behind-the-scenes look into the Admiral's Cabin where the Admiral would work, entertain and eat when the Royal Family were not on board. Our Gift Shop shows a range of miniature British souvenirs, as well as our exclusive Britannia gin which is distilled and bottled in Edinburgh in partnership with Pickering's Gin.

The team continue their work as Nigel and Ewan painted the Port Upper Deck white. Mark S. and Garry completed woodwork in the Workshop whilst Jos and Nigel washed down the windows in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Paul D. worked on the lights in the Port Junior Rates Mess and Ian completed his ladder safety checks. At Fingal, Jay and Sean emptied the rope locker and moved deck boards.

11 - 17 February: Half-Term holidays and Valentine's Day!

We have had a busy week on board as Scottish schools begin their February half-term break. We were thrilled to welcome on board the VisitBritain Press and Marketing team. In the Galley, Brendan, Sous Chef, prepared confit tomato whilst our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, baked a Victoria sandwich cake, named after Queen Victoria who favoured a slice. Our HR & Training Manager and talented pianist, Ruth, created a romantic atmosphere in the Tea Room for those celebrating Valentine's Day with soft background music. Our Gift Shop show a colouring book and reward chart, perfect for those on school holiday with luxury House of Dorchester fine chocolates for the adults!

This week we welcomed on board Ewan, our new Maintenance Assistant. Work continued on the Port Upper Deck Waist, as Ewan applied rust neutraliser, Nigel completed a fibre glass repair and Dean applied an undercoat to the scupper trough. Jos power washed the starboard Waist whilst Sean progressed to the next stage as he sanded the dolphin board. Gary, Mark S. and Derek, Head of Maintenance, removed the displays from the Junior Rates Dining Hall. Ian welded a bracket for the new pontoon as Mark L.  lifted the old boards off the existing pontoon. Paul A. sanded a handrail.

4 - 10 February: Preparing for Valentine's Day!

We're looking forward to Valentine's Day on board with a delicious limited edition raspberry, meringue and chocolate fudge, home-made in the NAAFI. On the 14th itself, the Royal Deck Tea Room will serve macarons and chocolates made by our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, accompanied by a special cocktail created by our Food and Beverage Manager, Bruce. The Galley team have also been busy baking lemon drizzle cakes and carrot cakes for our visitors to enjoy in the Tea Room. The shop also show their great selection of china cups and tea, the perfect way to keep warm on a chilly day.

Nigel and Jos worked on the Upper Deck Waist, whilst Jay re-secured the sill plate to the Starboard Sun Lounge door. Continuing the preparations from last week, Ian made progress with the new decking on the pontoon. Ian and Mark L. then both worked on components for the Pontoon. Sean cleaned a deck scupper board whilst Martin sanded a rope locker. Jay cut moulds to be used by the Galley team. Paul A. made preparations to sand a decorative handrail piece. Dean was in the workshop checking the quayside water connections.

January 2017

28 January - 3 February: Chocolate macarons and crested cufflinks!

Our visitors tour the five decks from the Bridge to the Royal Apartments. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, baked delicious chocolate macarons. The Tea Room galley team served carrot and coriander soup, while the baristas made a special Bonnie Prince Charlie coffee infused with Drambuie. This week we highlight the Glass and Silver Pantries where the silverware dates back to the Edwardian period. Our Gift Shop features our brand new cufflinks with colourful crest detail. Looking ahead to February 14th, our team have identified beautiful Valentine jewellery gifts.

Mark S. and Gary made a shelving unit for the clothing store whilst Nigel, Rab and Jos painted the deckhead on the Port Upper Deck Waist. Continuing last week's work on the pontoon Mark L. laid out the new deck boards. Mark L. then used the grinder on an old bracket on the quayside. Paul A. varnished the Sun Lounge Starboard standards; a wooden door as well as handrails. Sean polished the brass caps from the handrails.

21 - 27 January: Sea air and Burns Night preparations!

This week we feature our visitors taking in the fresh sea air on the Verandah Deck as they tour the five decks. Our Galley team are busy in preparations for our exclusive ticketed evening Burns Night events on Friday and Saturday. The Housekeeping team continues their hard work in maintaining Britannia to the same standards as when in Royal service. In the week of Robert Burns celebrations our shop shows a range of souvenirs with colourful Scottish map designs. We also welcome on board Chitambo as our new Senior Sales Assistant.

Ian started the week by removing a redundant bracket that held an old spotlight and then grinding the space for the perfect finish. Dean M. cleared out the scupper trough on the Upper Deck Starboard Waist. Following the work completed last week, Jos made the finishing touches to the paint work on the Upper Deck Starboard Waist. Paul D. fitted AC power for the new light.

The old deckboards were removed from the pontoon. Paul A. painted a new display for the Gift Shop and also prepared the Upper Deck Cross passage Starboard door for its layer of varnish. Jay varnished the Starboard Sun Lounge door standards and repaired a rope locker box. Dean S. removed and drained a boiler whilst Jay prised off a handrail for repair work.

14 - 20 January: Visitors along the tour route!

Our visitors explore the tour route from the Laundry Room to the onboard Rolls Royce.The Galley prepared the delicious Cullen Skink soup served in the Tea Room. Brendan and Mariusz make preparations for the evening event from the garnishes to the stunning seared duck. We show the finale to our tour in the Sailing Exhibition, where visitors can learn about the Royal Family's love of sailing. We also feature our onboard Operating Theatre and our Gift Shop is all prepared for Burns night next week with our 12 year old whisky, hip flask and books on Robert Burns himself and Scottish traditions.

The Maintenance team carried out the realignment of the pontoon and attached it to Britannia. Tony, Sean and Martin helped to remove the Forward Cross Passage Starboard Door for re-varnishing. Nigel and Tony removed marks from the Upper Deck Starboard side. Tony and Mark L. removed the oversized door covering from the newly varnished Verandah Deck door.

Mark S. fitted a new sign in our Visitor Centre whilst Stuart patched up a part of the ceiling ahead of painting. Paul A. sanded down a handrail from the Starboard side and Ian carried out routine checks of the Admiral’s Fast Motor Launch. The team removed flotsam from the Activity Boat propeller as Paul D. attended to a number of electrical jobs. Dean S. painted the SCOs cabin.

7 - 13 January: Carot cake, shortbread and cocoa stencils!

We feature visitors along the tour route as they enjoy listening to our complimentary audio guides. Whilst touring the five decks, any questions can be answered by our knowledgeable Visitor Assistants. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria puts the finishing touches to a cake stand full of miniature carrot cake slices and home-made buttery shortbread rounds. The Baristas in the Royal Deck Tea Room tried out their fun new stencils to top hot drinks. We show Ricky, Janitor, part of our dedicated Housekeeping team, ensuring that Britannia is kept 'ship-shape'. The Gift Shop show their brand new Indulgence jewellery display stand.

Jay started to manufacture a containment which will be fitted whilst the door standards to the Sun Lounge are varnished. Gary continued his production of a shelf for the Tea Room bar. Rab, Jos, Nigel and Dean M painted the Upper Deck Starboard whilst Mark fitted a bracket in A Fan Space. Stuart painted the Senior Commanding Officer's cabin and Ian repaired a fishing net.

1 January – 6 January: Happy New Year!

We start the first week of January with pictures of our visitors along the tour route, from the Royal Apartments to the Verandah Deck. The Galley team have been busy preparing the delicious soups, cakes and sandwiches to be served in the Royal Galley.  Our Gift Shop show their 2017 calendars, featuring stunning pictures of Scottish landscapes. The fudge, made on board, continues to be popular with visitors in the NAAFI.

The Maintenance team have had a busy start to the year as they help to take down the Christmas decorations both onboard and in the Visitor Centre. Ian has conducted his routine safety inspections whilst Gary started to manufacture a new cupboard for the Tea Room Bar. Nigel fitted the plates on the Starboard Waist. Stuart and Dean completed checks on the new UV filter for the water tank.


See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2016

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2015

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2014

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2013

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2012


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