Britannia's 2015 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 snapshots of life around the ship every week during the last few months. We're delighted to bring you some of these in our Weekly 'Snaps'.

December 2015

12 December - 18 December: Christmas Decorations, Festive Cocktail & Last Minute Gift Ideas!

It’s our last Weekly ‘Snaps’ of the year! This week we feature some more of our lovely visitors exploring the Verandah Deck and the State Apartments, currently adorned with beautiful Christmas decorations. For the festive season we are also serving a delicious Christmas Cosmopolitan, perfect for those who love a cocktail. Our brand new ‘In Glorious Celebrations’ 1000 piece jigsaw is now available in our Gift Shop, as well as some more great Christmas gift ideas. We’ve also featured some of our office staff covering our front of house Christmas lunch, from the NAAFI to the Royal Galleys!

This week our team have been busy working on a number of different things - from welding, to handrails, to Christmas trees! Mark Sinclair has been creating a new door for the Visitor Centre's water cooler, Mark Lee has been welding brackets, Jay and Paul have been busy with the many handrails, and Stuart has been continuing work on the new sewage plant pumps and pipework.

5 December - 11 December: The Pastry Galley, New Fudge Flavours & 50% Off Christmas Decorations!

This week we have featured many lovely photographs of our visitors enjoying their tour surrounded by beautiful Christmas Decorations, all the way from The State Drawing room, to the Petty Officers’ Mess. Our team in the Pastry Galley, Victoria and Stephen, have been working hard for an exclusive private event, creating delicious mini cheesecakes, lemon tarts and chocolate truffles. For the Christmas season, our very own Confectioner, Poppy, has made some festive fudge, and our Christmas themed gifts and decorations are now 50% off in the Gift Shop!

It was back to work as usual this week for our Maintenance Team, having done a fantastic job of decorating the ship top to bottom for Christmas! Martin and Jay have been continuing work on Britannia’s many handrails, scraping them and preparing them for varnishing. Mark Lee has been working in the Engineers’ Workshop on the new seating for the sewage pumps, and Dean and Stuart have been fitting taps in the new Pastry Galley.

28 November - 4 December: Beautiful Christmas Decorations & The Captain Bear Treasure Hunt!

It’s definitely looking a lot like Christmas aboard Britannia! This week our staff have been busy preparing the ship for the beginning of the festive season. You’ll find stunning decorations adorning Britannia, all the way from the State Apartments to the Petty Officers’ Mess, including lots of magical Christmas trees. We’ve also featured our Galley staff this week, preparing canapés and desserts for an exclusive evening event. The Gift Shop has some great Christmas books, as well as lots of our Captain Bears that are also hidden around Britannia for our Captain Bear Treasure Hunt, taking place throughout December!

This week our Maintenance Team have been hard at work with putting up many of the fantastic Christmas decorations! Our Head of Maintenance, Derek, has been busy down in the Generator Room with Nigel, continuing work in the bilges. Mark has had sparks flying in the Engineers' Workshop, while Martin has been busy working on some spare handsets and woodwork.

November 2015

21 November – 27 November: Christmas Puddings, Our Christmas Shopping Evening & The Generator Room!

With some beautiful weather returning to Edinburgh this week, Ruth was able to take some photographs of Britannia’s exterior, including the brand new 25ft Christmas tree on the quayside! Our Trainee Baker, Victoria, has been busy in the Pastry Galley preparing more Christmas Puddings, and we have also had a great new delivery of fresh flower displays. We’ve also featured some shots from our Christmas Shopping Evening event with delicious canapés, Britannia Fizz, demonstrations and much more.  

Our Maintenance Team have been busy working down in the Generator Room bilges, removing all loose paint and rust in order to be freshly painted in a way that will ensure preservation. Paul has continued work on the cyphers from the Officers’ FML (Fast Motor Launch), applying the beautiful gold leaf. Mark Lee has also been working on removing door sills, whilst Mark Sinclair has continued work in the new Pastry Galley.

14 November – 20 November: Giant Chocolate Snowman, New Jewellery & Our Christmas Tree Arrives!

The cooler and wetter months are definitely upon us, so this week we have featured some lovely photographs of our visitors all rugged up and keeping dry! Our extremely talented Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen Espouy, has also been busy working on a beautiful chocolate snowman, complete with an intricate solid chocolate base to go on display in the Tea Room. We’ve also featured our homemade Christmas Puddings and Fudge Tasting boxes that we will be selling at Leith Market this week, as well as some brand new decorations and jewellery. We’ve also shown some of our Housekeepers, Eileen and Raymond, busying away and we also welcome aboard our brand new Shop Manager, Kirsty.

This week in Maintenance, Ian has been working on the new sewage system pipework, drilling and welding a flange. Stuart has also been working on copper piping and Paul has been painting the two cyphers for the Officers’ FML (Fast Motor Launch). Gary has also continued work in our new Pastry Galley, as well as working with Mark preparing for the arrival of our brand new Christmas tree!

7 November – 12 November: Keeping Warm In The Royal Deck Tea Room, Brand New Jackets & a Visit From Malawi!

This week we have featured our visitors in our newly refurbished Visitor Centre, full of information and displays to discover before boarding Britannia. We were delighted to have one of our visitors, an accomplished pianist, play our piano in The Royal Deck Tea Room. And, perfect timing for the winter storm arriving this week, our brand new Britannia Jackets arrived, along with a number of wet weather items also sold in our Gift Shop. Our Marketing Team have been busy with another great work experience student, Zosia, as well as a VIP visit from the Government of Malawi.

The Maintenance Team has been keeping cover from the rain this week, with lots of work being done down in the generator room, painting and removing the deck plates. Gary has been working on plaques given to us by various visiting ships, as well as Connoisseurs Scotland award, which will go on display on our visitor route. Mark has also been busy in the engineers’ workshop, whilst Dean and Stuart work in the new Pastry Galley and on the base for our Christmas tree on the quayside.

31 October – 6 November: Delicious Sandwiches, Our Santa Sleigh and Edinburgh’s Fog!

As photography is very much encouraged aboard Britannia, we have featured our visitors taking some lovely shots on the Verandah Deck and even a selfie with a Britannia Corgi in the Petty Officers’ Mess. With the winter months drawing in, we’ve added Roast Aberdeen Angus Beef sandwiches to the menu, and we’ve also shown some pictures of the preparation of some of the cakes and lunch platters which are served in The Royal Deck Tea Room. Our Santa sleigh makes a return again this year for our beautiful Christmas window display, with some fantastic gift ideas and stocking fillers, and we’ve also shared some eerie shots of Britannia being engulfed by fog this week.

With the Christmas season fast approaching, Stuart has been working on creating a foundation on Britannia’s quayside to hold our giant Christmas tree. The Officers’ Fast Motor Launches have had a power wash to remove barnacles, and a second coat of gloss has been applied to the hull. Mark and Gary have also continued work in the new Pastry Galley.

October 2015

24 October – 30 October: Triominoes, Dessert Canapés & Pumpkin Carving!

Our lovely new giant triominoes, handmade by our talented Maintenance Team, provided lots of entertainment in the winter sunshine on the Verandah Deck this week. Triominoes is a vintage 60s game, one of the Deck games visitors can play when visiting Britannia. We’ve also featured our Pastry Team preparing beautifully decorated White Chocolate Ganache Macarons for an evening event, as well as brand new books and Christmas treats in the Gift Shop. There’s been lots of preparation for Halloween too, with Pumpkin Carving and Spooky Cupcake decorating for the Tea Room and, this week, we were also delighted to welcome our ‘Design A Royal Cupcake’ competition winners back on board, joined by their primary classmates for a tour.

It’s been full steam ahead this week on painting Britannia before winter sets in, with Joss, Rab and Nigel on the Paint Cat, painting and glossing the port front quarter of Britannia’s hull. Paul, one of our electricians, has been busy with replacing light fittings on the quayside, and Jay and Martin have been using heat guns to remove varnish on handrails. Gary has been working on framing in the new Pastry Galley.

17 October - 23 October: Long Service Dinner Preparations, Halloween Cupcakes & a 1963 Royal Visit Itinerary!

For the October school holidays we’ve been delighted to see lots of families having fun on board, so we’ve featured some of our younger visitors enjoying our fantastic children’s audio tour. With our annual staff Long Service Dinner this week, we have featured our chefs preparing the delicious ‘secret’ menu in the Royal Galley. Halloween is also fast approaching, so our Pastry team have been adding the finishing touches to their spooky cupcakes which will be sold in The Royal Deck Tea Room, along with some cocktail and mocktail specials. This week we were also lucky enough to come across the itinerary for a Royal Visit to New Zealand in 1963, a truly fascinating insight into a Royal Tour aboard Britannia.

This week in Maintenance, Joss has been continuing paint work on the front fo’c’sle screen, and Ian, Dean and Stuart have been busy working away in their on-board workshops. New sewage tanks are currently being manufactured, with Nigel busy welding the new brackets. The old pot wash is coming along nicely, with the framework almost finished and new sliding doors being measured up.

10 October – 16 October: Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt, Marzipan Pumpkins & Inside The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound!

Our Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt is back on Britannia for the October school holidays, so we have featured some great shots of visitors in the Petty Officers’ Mess and some hiding corgis. Delicious fresh Sea Bass was being prepared for an exclusive evening event, as well as some intricate work, making marzipan pumpkins, in the Pastry Galley. This week we have also featured the creation of our new Chocolate Crunch Fudge, in celebration of Chocolate Week, as well as a rare look inside the interior of The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound.

This week in Maintenance, one of our engineers, Ian, has been busy working on the Officers' Fast Motor Launch’s fuel tanks. Work in the Pastry Galley has continued with new framework being completed around a porthole, as well as the installation of stainless steel bulkhead panelling for behind the new ovens. Jay and Martin have also been working on the preservation of more handrails, and we show the new steel stairs for the Royal Brow.

3 October - 9 October: New Cocktails, Exclusive Newbridge Christmas Decorations and Welcoming New Staff!

This week we have featured one of younger visitors using his children’s audio tour to explore The Bridge and the Flag Deck. With Halloween and Christmas coming up, our Food and Beverage Supervisor has been busy experimenting with some great new seasonal cocktails for the Tea Room. Our Gift Shop is also lucky enough to be the exclusive Edinburgh stockists of some fantastic Newbridge Christmas decorations which have arrived this week. Furthermore, we are delighted to introduce our new Office Administrator/Receptionist, Lucie, and work experience student, Cameron, who has spent the week with the Marketing Team.

Our Maintenance Team have been busy this week with preparing the brand new steps for the Royal Brow. The wooden steps had to be removed and were replaced with new steel steps, in order to ensure the original panelling is conserved and Royal Brow access can continue. Work has continued in the new Pastry Galley, with the team preparing to install the newly arrived ovens, and Dean has been working on tiling the corridor floors.

26 September – 2 October: Sunshine on Britannia, Food Preparation in The Royal Galley and Christmas Products!

With beautiful weather gracing Edinburgh for the end of September, we have featured some fantastic photographs of our visitors outside on Britannia’s decks, as well as The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound! We also feature Bruce, our Food and Beverage Services Manager, creating a lovely haggis serving tray, as well as our chefs working hard to prepare food for an exclusive evening event. We are excited to  display some more of our new Christmas products, ranging from candles to children’s gift sets.

This week in Maintenance, the team have continued work on the front fo’c’sle screen, as well as the sanding and painting of the port front quarter of Britannia’s hull. Gary and Mark have also been busy measuring and creating more framework for the new Pastry Galley. New bookshelves for the Gift Shop are also being created, as well as the painting of the new stairs for the Royal Brow. We will also be saying goodbye to Connor who is joining the Royal Navy after almost two years at Britannia.

September 2015

20 September – 25 September: Tea Room Lunch Platters, Britannia Fudge & An Exclusive Q&A!

This week at Britannia we have shown our visitors enjoying themselves throughout all of her five decks, from the Compass Platform to the Lower Deck. We’ve also featured our delicious sandwiches, soups and scones ready to be served in The Royal Deck Tea Room, as well some fantastic new Christmas merchandise. We have also been lucky enough to have some special guests on board participating in an exclusive Q&A session for World Tourism Day.

Nigel has continued sanding down the front of Britannia’s hull this week, in preparation for painting.  In addition to this, Nigel has also used the Admiral’s FML (Fast Motor Launch) to bring around the berthing cat to soon start work on the opposite side of Britannia. Gangway handrails are also in the process of being replaced and Ian has done some further work on the Activity Boat’s drive shaft.

12 September - 18 September: The Royal Deck Tea Room, Evening Event Canapés & New Christmas Products!:

This week we feature our visitors enjoying The Bridge and looking down to the Royal Bridge, where HM The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh would have waved to the waiting crowds, when arriving in port! The Royal Deck Tea Room team has been busy preparing for the arrival of some special guests, and we’ve also spotted visitors enjoying our own Bloodhound Beer. September has been a busy month for our Events Team, with many delicious canapés being prepared in the Royal Galleys for exclusive evening events. We are also excited to be stocking some fantastic new Christmas products in the Gift Shop.

The new Pastry Galley is coming along nicely, with new framing being put up by Gary and Mark Sinclair, as well as bulkhead panelling. One of our newest members of the Maintenance Team, Mark Lee, showed us the ‘before and after’ of polishing up one of the Officers’ FML (Fast Motor Launch) propellers, whilst Joss continued working on the fo’c’sle.

5 September – 11 September: Longest Reigning Monarch, Assistance Dogs & Songs of Praise!

This week Her Majesty The Queen became the longest reigning monarch in British History, meaning a very busy time aboard Britannia. We were lucky enough to be joined by crew of the new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, for a fantastic photoshoot celebrating The Queen’s 63 years of reign. We have also featured some wonderful shots of visitors and their hearing assistance dog, Erin, as well as a sneak peak of new Christmas products to be available next week in The Gift Shop. Sally Magnusson, BBC, was also on board with historian, Kate Williams, filming for Songs of Praise which will air this Sunday 13 September.

Longest reigning British Monarch celebrations:

This week in Maintenance, work continues in the new Pastry Galley where new floor tiles were laid, as well as on the port forward quarter of Britannia’s hull. Ian and Mark have also been working on the Activity Boat’s port propeller drive shaft, after its return from Oban, accompanying The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound on its annual summer sailing charters.

29 August - 4 September: Fresh Lobsters, Petit Fours and Azuni Jewellery!

Over the last week we have been able to feature some great shots of visitors tasting our delicious fudge samples in the NAAFI, as well as enjoying the return of The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound to Britannia’s pontoon. The Royal Galley chefs were busy this week preparing for an exclusive evening event  with fresh lobsters arriving to be made into some wonderful canapés. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen Espouy, was also hard at work in the Pastry Galley creating brand new chocolate, sage and orange petit fours. To celebrate our new collection of Azuni Jewellery, we have showcased some of their beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Work has continued in the new Pastry Galley, with Ian grinding away redundant brackets, as well as welding new ones. After much sanding and painting by Paul and the team, the new panels for Engine Room gangway are still underway and are almost ready to be fitted. Finally, the Maintenance Team have also been busy getting the paint cat into position at the front of Britannia, ready to paint the port front quarter of the hull.

August 2015

22 August – 28 August: Visitors on the Verandah Deck, Gold Leaf & The Colombian ‘ARC Gloria’!

This week we feature some lovely photographs of our visitors enjoying Britannia, in particular wee Theo Jasper, otherwise known as TJ, who travelled to Edinburgh with his family all the way from Colorado, USA. Also featured is our Boardroom being prepared for a press visit from Visit Britain, as well as our fantastic Christmas Hampers available in The Gift Shop. Britannia also welcomed the Colombian Ambassador, HE Mr Néster Osorio, and Senior Officers of the Colombian Flagship ‘ARC Gloria’ which is currently berthed in The Port of Leith as a part of their 2015 ‘Goodwill Tour of the World’.

Alongside the beautiful application of the gold leaf, Ian from our Maintenance Team has been working hard checking over a number of things on The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound which returned to Britannia on Saturday from its annual trip to Oban. These include inspecting the engine and tidying up the mooring rope. Gary has also been busy in the workshop on some ‘A’ brackets to be used for fans in the Visitor Centre.

15 August – 21 August: Ice Cream, New Cuddly Corgis and Britannia’s Marketing Team!

As we finally welcome some lovely warm summer days, we’re delighted to feature our Porrelli Ice Cream in The Tea Room, as well as some of our delicious sweeties and fudge. Our Retail Team have also been busy preparing our new Cuddly Corgis which are back on board for our Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt, running until 31 August. And, although more used to being on the other side of the camera, we feature our Marketing team and also our Photographer in Residence, Ruth Armstrong.

After a great annual trip, accompanying The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound to Oban, the Activity Boat returns to Britannia’s quayside, to the delight of our Maintenance Team. This week, work has continued on repainting the panels from the Engine Room’s gangway, as well as changing the filters on the water system. Ian has also been busy in the work shed using the on board lathe, a machine used to shape wood, metal and other materials.

8 August – 15 August: Morning Baking, Bloodhound Beer and Fine Details Aboard Britannia!

Each morning, our Pastry Team is up at the crack of dawn in the Royal Galleys, busy baking home-made cakes and scones, artisan breads and shortbread for the day ahead. This week we feature our famous Lemon Drizzle Cake and a White Chocolate Mousse Cake, being prepared for an evening event. The team takes delivery of our own brand Bloodhound Beer, made at Oban Brewery which features the crew of Bloodhound, The Queen’s former Royal Yachtsmen (Yotties), on the label. Also shown are some of the finer detail shots of the original décor and furnishings from behind the ropes on Britannia’s visitor route.

Work is progressing on our new Pastry Galley to house our new Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, and our Trainee Baker, Victoria. Work is being completed on the framing of the room, as well as inserting and running water supplies. This week the Maintenance Team have also been busy on a number of other tasks including washing down the decks, painting the side panels of the Engine Room gangway and preparing the Lift Tower handrails for replacement.

1 August – 7 August: Afternoon Tea Displays and Goldfinches at Britannia!

This week our State Drawing Room has had the addition of an afternoon tea display, with delicacies similar to those once enjoyed by The Royal Family on board. Our Housekeeping and Group Sales teams have been busy preparing for our high summer season, getting tickets printed out and making sure everything is perfectly polished and ready for our visitors. We’ve also been delighted to discover a family of Goldfinches that have taken up residence in the Bay trees at Britannia’s quayside entrance.

The upkeep of Britannia’s ‘miles of handrails’ is an on-going task, with a team working on them full-time over the last couple of months. Each handrail needs between 8-12 coats of varnish, with one day’s drying time in between, as well as a slight sand down of the coat to give the varnish some grip! The team has also been working on plumbing and drainage in the new Pastry Galley and glossing out the Port Waist.

July 2015

25 July - 31 July: Britannia's Musical Instruments and New Summer Games and Books!

Music has always been an important part of Britannia, with a full Marine band onboard during the Yacht’s world tours. This week we feature some of the instruments on Britannia, including the violins in the Royal Marines’ Barracks and the original Welmar Baby Grand Piano in The State Drawing Room, a particular favourite of Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and Princess Alexandra. The Gift Shop has some lovely new games and books to entertain the whole family during the summer holidays, as well as some beautiful new jewellery inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge. To bring the Admiral’s Cabin to life, you can now see the table set for breakfast, as it would have been when The Admiral dined in his cabin, when The Royal family were not on board.

This week in Maintenance, the team have been busy refitting the benches on the Verandah Deck, preparing wood framing as well as painting the upper deck bulwark. Stuart and Dean have been busy in the ship's Galley removing rust and Martin has been refitting Britannia's handrails.

 19 July – 24 July: Cupcake Competition Winners and Evening Events!

On Saturday, Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound, set sail in stormy seas, headed for her annual summer charter in the Western Isles. Our Trainee Baker, Victoria, had a busy week recreating in sponge and icing, the winning designs from our primary schools' 'Design a Royal Cupcake' Competition in celebration of Prince George's 2nd Birthday. On 22 July, the two winners, Niamh Headon and Meng Ting He, were invited on board to see their drawings brought to life and to take a tour of Britannia with their families. We also showcase Bruce, our Food & Beverage Services Manager, selecting wines and preparing The State Dining Room for an evening event.

This week in Maintenance, the team have been continuing work on one of Britannia's original galleys. Jay and Mark have been busy creating some new seat covers for the benches throughout the tour route, and Ian has been repairing fridge seals. With Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound en route to Oban this week, our team also had to ensure all lifesaving equipment was set up in the activity boat which will be accompanying her on her journey.

11 July – 17 July:  Welcoming Royal Yachtsmen and winning cupcakes!

This week we were delighted to welcome aboard some of our former Yachtsmen, as they get ready to sail the Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound to Oban on Saturday for her annual summer charters around the Western Isles. Our Trainee Baker, has been busy this week making miniature teddy bears, gold stars and toy soldiers, in icing, for our Primary Schools Royal Cupcake Competition winners. The two winners, chosen from over 1,000 entries will be on display in the State Dining Room for Prince George's 2nd Birthday on 22nd July! Also featured is our delicious new Great British Pudding range, all hand-made in the NAAFI.

This week in Maintenance, our team have been busy painting and sanding around Britannia's portholes. Handrails have been varnished and joined and new pigeon holes made for the Gift Shop. With the Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound heading up to Oban on Saturday for her annual summer charter around the Western Isles, our team have also been assisting the Royal Yachtsmen to prepare for her departure.

 4 July – 10 July: Welcoming P&O Britannia and Captain Bear Treasure Hunt

On Wednesday P&O Cruises visited Edinburgh and our Chairman was invited aboard to visit the latest and largest addition to the fleet, the cruise ship MV Britannia, on her inaugural cruise of the British Isles.  We were delighted to reciprocate and welcomed Captain Paul Brown and his team aboard for a tour of The Royal Yacht.  We are grateful to Devlin Photos for sharing these images with us. Another ship in port this week was WindSurf, Windstar Cruise's 310-guest Flagship Sailing Yacht berthed nearby. The sun was shining and, as always, our Visitor Assistants were on hand to help visitors capture those special moments, the weather was also perfect to show off our new tour signage. This week saw the launch of our Captain Bear Treasure Hunt which is set to be a family favourite. 

This week our Maintenance team has been working on The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound, carrying out final preparations, prior to her annual departure to Oban, where she is available for day charters.The team have been fitting a new radar on Bloodhound and, on board Britannia, they’ve been hard at work cleaning and repairing scupper boards, as well as painting the inboard screen.  In response to feedback from our customers, we have replaced all of our onboard directional displays with new clearer signage to further enhance the tour for visually impaired visitors.

June 2015

27 June – 3 July: Celebrating Wimbledon and new Strawberries and Cream Fudge.

This week we have featured a new fudge flavour from in the NAAFI, Strawberries & Cream, as well as our Family Hamper Prize which can be won during our Captain Bear Treasure Hunt! Our Royal Deck Tea Room is serving local Strawberries and Champagne to celebrate the two weeks of Wimbledon, make sure you visit the Tea Room for a treat! We welcome Kirsten to the team, our new Gift Shop Manager and preparations have also begun to display our Royal Cupcake Entries!

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This week in maintenance, our team has been working hard on dowel fittings on the new handrails, as well as finishing off their sanding and varnishing. We also would like to welcome Mark to the team, who has been creating some new display units for the Gift Shop this week.

 20 June – 26 June: New Beverages in the Tea Room and Chocolate Truffles!

Two new additions to the Royal Deck Tea Room’s summer menu were photographed this week. Our Iced Coffee and new Whisky Cocktail, made with Glenmorangie Highland Single Malt. Also pictured is Barbara, our longest serving member of the Royal Deck Team, who has been with us for 5 years. Our new Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, was busy preparing beautiful hand-made Chocolate and Grand Marnier liqueur truffles for an Evening Event this week. We’ve also been testing and training out our fire evacuation procedures and showing round our work experience student Callum.

Britannia’s latest acquisition, formerly the Windsor Castle, re-named by her original name, Fingal, was towed into Dry Dock for inspection this week. Our Maintenance quickly got to work on the vessel while she was in dry dock, sanding, washing and painting the hull. Back on board Britannia, work is continuing on our sewage treatment plant and a new navigation device has been installed on Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound.

13 June – 19 June: Britannia's 6ft cake and Father's Day gifts!

This week our Housekeepers have been busy preparing for some filming aboard Britannia. Father’s Day is also fast approaching so we have featured some of our products to inspire some last minute gift ideas! These range from cufflinks to tasty Lunch Platters available in our Royal Deck Tea Room. Cake Fest Edinburgh is coming up this Sunday - Britannia's 6ft cake looks fantastic! Well done Victoria.

This week in Maintenance, our Team have been busy working in a number of different areas. There has been a lot of focus on various items of woodwork around Britannia, as well as ensuring everything is working correctly for the on board sewage system. Ian's also been testing the batteries from Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound, making sure she is ready for her departure to Oban in July.

6 June - 12 June: Fresh flowers, Britannia's Golf Range and Cake Fest!

This week we are delighted to present our new Britannia Golf Range which is now available in our Gift Shop, just in time for this fantastic sunshine! New flowers are being planted for summer and some beautiful arrangements are on display in The State Dining Room. You’ll also see the photos of our giant six foot Britannia model cake, in readiness for next weekend’s Cakefest in the Royal Botanic Gardens, where a cityscape of 50 of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks is being recreated in cake! With the countdown begun to the big day, our trainee Baker, Victoria has been furiously melting, mixing and moulding.

Our Maintenance Team have been mainly working on the fo'c'sle this week,as well as the water storage tank and the galley. The team have also been getting Britannia ready to turn pink on Saturday evening for Edinburgh's MoonWalk, in aid of Breast Cancer.

30 May - 5 June: Evening Events and our Corgi Treasure Hunt!

This week we take a look at the preparation and examples of some gifts available to our Evening Event guests, as well as the setting up of The State Dining Room, ready for a dinner on board. Our Corgi Treasure Hunt is still on this weekend so we have provided some clues of where they are located on board. Don’t forget to take your Corgi selfies and post them on our social media channels!

Martin from our Maintenance Team has been busy fitting brass cap ends to Britannia's handrails while Ian has been busy on board our new Admiral's Barge. Gary has been finishing off our Triominoe set, ready for vistors use on the Verandah Deck.

May 2015

23 May – 29 May: A closer look at the Admiral’s Day Cabin and Royal Chart House!

This week we go behind the scenes for a closer look into two of our rooms, the Admiral’s Day Cabin and the Royal Chart House. The Royal Chart House is available for exclusive hire in the evenings for Whisky Tastings and the Admiral's Day Cabin which was where Britannia's Admiral ate his meals and could unwind and relax after a busy day on board. We have a few more shots from Yotties' Week, which we thought we'd share with you and we are also delighted to welcome our new Head of Visitor and Retail Experience, Elliot Johnston.

The Maintenance Team this week have been busy washing Britannia's hull, varnishing the fo'c'sle handrails and working on the grey water pipe systems.


16 May - 22 May: Welcoming back The Royal Yachtsmen for Yotties' week!

What a busy week it has been! We are delighted to have been joined by Her Majesty The Queen's former Royal Yachtsmen this week where they have been working alongside our Maintenance team and entertaining our visitors with their first-hand experience of serving The Queen and The Royal Family.

Our Maintenance Team have been busy getting everything prepared for the arrival of the Royal Yachtsmen who all served aboard Britannia while she was in service. Known affectionately as the Yotties, they arrived this week to work with our team on numerous areas around Britannia, Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound and our new vessel, The Fingal!

9 May - 15 May: Summer party and mouth-watering macarons!

This week we invited our tourism partners on board for our Summer Party to enjoy an evening of Champagne, canapés and music.  We also released our new Britannia Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky for Whisky Month, which is exclusive to our Gift Shop!

This week in Maintenance, Gary has been finishing off making a giant Triominoe set, perfect for visitors to enjoy on sunny summer days out on our Verandah Deck. Similar to dominoes, players must make sure that the sides touch a matching number. Nigel has been removing areas of rust and Rab has been laying tiles in the Galley corridor.

2 May - 8 May: Celebrating the new Royal Baby!

It's been an exciting week on board with the news of the birth of the Royal Baby. Our Retail Team have been busy stocking up the shelves in the Gift Shop with gorgeous Royal Collection Royal Baby China. We have some delicious new Scottish drinks in the Royal Deck Tea Room, from Strathearn Distillery hand-crafted Gin to Cuddybridge 100% pure apple juice from the Scottish Borders.

This week in Maintenance, Gary has made a triominoe set for use on the Verandah Deck on dry summer days. Ian has been working on the FML engines and Paul has been applying non-slip to the gangways.

April 2015

25 April - 1 May: New Tea Room products and a submarine!

It's been a busy week in the Port of Leith. We've watched two submarines and a beautiful 3-masted yacht arrive and dock in the sunshine, next to Britannia. Victoria, our Trainee Baker has been busy in the Pastry Galley making a delicious new toffee cake for the tea room. Make sure you try a slice if you are visiting!

The Maintenance team have been busy making and fixing a new gate in the Galley corridor and adjusting the podium for the Visitor Centre in advance of the busy season ahead.

18 April – 24 April: Preparation on board, ready for visitors.

This week’s snaps show what goes on behind the scenes before Britannia opens to visitors. Our florist delivers stunning floral arrangements every week to display in the State Rooms, as would have been the case when Britannia was in Royal service. Our Housekeeping team start their shift at 5am each day, to ensure that the yacht is spotless, prior to opening. Fudge and freshly brewed coffee are served daily in the NAAFI and the Royal Deck Tea Room.  Seafood arrives from our fishmongers, straight from the sea to ensure only the freshest seafood is used for our evening event menus.

Our maintenance team have been busy painting on deck while the weather has been dry. The ensign staff crown, the deck around the quarter deck and a fire hydrant on board have all been repainted. Scupper boards have been removed and stripped, ready for restoration.

11 April – 17 April: Preparing for an evening event and flowers in bloom.
It’s been a busy week on board, with lots of visitors enjoying their Easter break. Our galley team have been busy preparing for an evening event in the Officers’ Wardroom, while our guides have enjoyed chatting to our visitors and taking their photos by the Britannia bell. Daffodils have been in bloom on the quayside as we welcomed some fine Spring weather.

Our Maintenance team have been busy removing, sanding and varnishing Britannia’s handrails as well as testing the many appliances and tools we have on board. New LED lighting has been fitted in the Drawing Room Anteroom too.

4 April - 10 April: Easter Holidays and Spring is here!

It's been beautiful weather in Edinburgh this week and all our visitors were enjoying the sunshine, while taking in the views from Britannia's decks. Our delicious Easter fudge in the NAAFI was a real hit too. Click on the galleries below for all the photos from this week.

With the good weather, our Maintenance team have taken the opportunity to work outdoors, sanding and varnishing the handrails and completing many other outdoor tasks.

28 March – 3 April: Easter cupcakes, Corgis and an April Fool?
Happy Easter! We’re so looking forward to welcoming visitors on board over the Easter Weekend. Our talented Baker, Victoria, has created some gorgeous Easter cupcakes for the Tea Room and we have a fabulous Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt taking place. This week we’ve also captured a suspected April Fool on camera and taken part in the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour. Click on the galleries below for all the images and information.

Meanwhile, our Maintenance team have been busy as usual making up Britannia’s dress flags, screeding the deck in the Galley Corridor and completing many other tasks.

March 2015

21 – 27 March: Easter Corgis, fudge, gifts and cocktails!
With the Easter holidays starting in many areas across the country this weekend, we’ve been busy preparing some fantastic activities and treats. There’s the Cuddly Toy Corgi Treasure Hunt taking place over Easter Weekend, plus our Resident Confectioner has made some delicious Easter fudge, while the Tea Room has a special cocktail on the menu. The Gift Shop also has some gorgeous new products in, from the new princess and pirate range to a new Britannia hoodie for little ones.

The Maintenance team have continued their work on the Galley corridor, handrails and touching up paintwork. A new ramp is also being made to improve accessibility from the Royal Apartments to the starboard side.

14-20 March: Poppyscotland launch and preparing for Easter

This week we were delighted to welcome aboard Judy Murray and two serving soldiers who were launching Poppyscotland’s 2015 summer fundraising activity, Tea & Toast. Our trainee pastry chef Victoria, has been busy all week, baking beautiful Poppy cupcakes as well as preparing for Easter with iced Easter bunnies, daffodils and chicks!

The Maintenance team have been busy preparing Britannia’s handrails for varnishing, washing the screen from the Bridge to the fo'c'sle deck and touching up the crest on the perry buoy.

7-13 March: Mother’s Day gift ideas
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we’ve been putting together some great gift ideas, which we’ve included as part of our Weekly ‘Snaps’ this week. Our Tea Room mixologist has also been busy creating a special cocktail for the occasion and we’re looking forward to welcoming guests for Champagne Cream Teas and Celebration Lunches on Sunday.

We’ve also got photos of the fabulous new tartan chocolates in our Gift Shop, made here in Scotland, and were delighted to receive an award from Viator this week. Plus our Maintenance team have been working from a height this week, in addition to various other tasks around the ship. Click on the galleries below to see all the photos.

28 February – 6 March: Mother’s Day preparation, pirates and princesses
We love celebrating a special occasion aboard Britannia and have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day on Sunday, 15 March. This year we have a Champagne Cream Tea and Celebratory Lunch vouchers available from our online shop, plus many other gift ideas for your mum over on our blog. Our Resident Confectioner has made a delicious lemon meringue fudge specially for the event. Meanwhile in our Tea Room, we’ve been celebrating Scottish brewing and distilling as part of the Year of Food & Drink in Scotland and the Gift Shop have some fantastic pirates and princess products to show off in this week’s ‘snaps’ too! Click on the galleries below to see all the photographs.

Meanwhile, the Maintenance team have continued their work on the Galley passageway and also had a big task clearing the snow from Britannia's decks for our visitors this week.

February 2015

21-27 February: New arrivals in the Gift Shop and a gleaming Engine Room
This week we have some fantastic photos, from our adorable new toy corgis in the Gift Shop, complete with jacket, to fluffy logo bugs (that we had great fun photographing!), and a peek into how our Housekeeping team keep the Engine Room looking so spectacular. Our Photographer in Residence also popped up to see the new beer on the menu in the Tea Room, caught up with Retail as they looked at new Whisky bottle designs and even snapped a bird taking flight from deck. Click on the galleries below to see all the photographs.

Meanwhile the Maintenance team were photographed as they cleaned down Britannia’s decks and worked on various other tasks this week.

14-20 February: Half term, housekeeping & chefs
This week we’ve been around the ship, taking snaps of visitors during half term, new retro sweets in the NAAFI, housekeeping and the chefs in the Galleys. Meanwhile, the Maintenance team have continued their work on the Galley passageway and we also had a visit from some Yotties this week who were replacing halyards on Bloodhound. Click on the photos below to see the full galleries.

7-13 February: Valentine’s Day & Influencers’ Breakfast event
Are you in Edinburgh for Valentine’s Day? We must be feeling the love here aboard Britannia, as this week’s ‘Snaps’ have a romantic theme, from heart-shaped coffee stencils to our fantastic new ‘You float my boat’ range in our Gift Shop.

This week we also hosted the inaugural Influencers’ Breakfast for the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in our Royal Deck. It was a fantastic event with some delicious breakfast canapés created specially for the meeting.

You can also see all the latest Britannia preservation work taking place in the gallery below. This week the team worked on the Grand Staircase in the Royal Apartments, taking the opportunity to polish the brass fittings as the new carpet was laid. The Galley passageway has also received a new coat of paint and work continued on other areas here.

31 January – 6 February: A peek into the Galley & Valentine’s Day preparation
Britannia’s team of Chefs have had a busy couple of weeks, preparing for evening events and making the hundreds of Christmas puddings we sell each year in our Gift Shop. With Valentine’s Day approaching, we’ve also been adding specials to the menu in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Plus our shop has lots of gorgeous gifts. Read our blog to find out more.

This week’s Maintenance ‘Snaps’ show the team working on various tasks around the ship, from fixing locks to sanding doors and painting the Galley passageway. We were also delighted to see the arrival of a new Admiral's Barge, 34’ FML 7142, to our fleet. Read more about her on our Maintenance 'Snaps' page.

January 2015

24-30 January: This week’s ‘Snaps’ are a tribute to Jim Fotheringham, “Jimmy the Joiner” from our Maintenance team who sadly passed away suddenly this week.

17-23 January: Disabled Access Day & Burns’ Day preparation
Last Saturday we were delighted to launch Disabled Access Day from Britannia. A new initiative aimed at encouraging disabled people, their friends and family to visit somewhere new together, it was a fantastic day and raised much needed awareness of the importance of disabled access.

This week we have also been preparing for Burns’ Day celebrations, as haggis, neeps and tatties are served in the Tea Room this weekend. We also have a fantastic hot toddy recipe for you to try at home on our blog – perfect with haggis! Our Maintenance team have also been busy laying the new carpets and painting areas of the Royal Apartments. Click on the photos to see the full galleries below.

10-16 January: The State Dining Room dance floor is revealed
This week it was incredible to see the dance floor in Britannia’s State Dining Room uncovered for the first time since The Princess Royal’s 21st birthday celebrations in 1971. Our Maintenance team have been hard at work fitting new carpets here, as you can see from the photos below.

Other photos this week include the delicious Whisky Ginger Hot Toddy, available in the Tea Room from Monday. You’ll also find the recipe for it on our blog. Plus the Housekeeping team were busy ensuring all items on board are polished to perfection! Click on the galleries below to see all the ‘snaps’ from this week…

3-9 January: New Year ‘snaps’
New year, new leaflet and new signage! We’ve been working hard to help our visitors find us more easily and are delighted to finally have better signage outside Britannia. This week Ruth also popped in the Tea Room Galley to catch the chefs and waiters in action and got some beautiful shots of the place settings in the stunning State Dining Room.

The Maintenance team have continued their work re-painting the Royal Apartments. Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound maintenance was also carried out and Electrician Paul checked fuses while Jimmy and Dean worked on a blanking plate for a pipe.

27 December – 2nd January: Happy New Year!
The whole team aboard Britannia would like to wish you a very happy new year. Thank you to everyone who visited us during 2014 for making it truly fantastic. We’ve put together a Year in Pictures video showing just some of our highlights. You can watch it here.

By visiting, shopping, dining or hosting an evening event with us, you are helping maintain Britannia. All surplus funds go back into her preservation for future generations to come. Here are some of our Maintenance team’s highlights from this year. We look forward to welcoming you aboard in 2015!

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2014

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2013

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2012

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