Britannia 2016 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.

December 2016

17 - 23 December: A change of roles for our office team!

This week we feature visitors arriving at our Visitor Centre, welcomed by Heather. Visitors are encouraged to take photographs in our Visitor Centre, as well as on The Queen’s former floating palace itself. Our much-admired Christmas decorations, including those on the grand staircase, are on display until the New Year. The Royal Deck Tea Room is a popular spot for a spot of refreshment, mid tour, with its stunning views out on to the Firth of Forth. On Tuesday afternoon, Britannia office team, including our Chief Executive, Bob Downie, covered for our front of house team, as they went off to enjoy their Christmas lunch. The Britannia  Gift Shop in Ocean Terminal stocks a range of exclusive food and drink gifts including luxury shortbread, whisky and rum.

The maintenace team continued work on the ladder handrails on the Starboard. Mark S. built a new cupoboard for use in the Royal Deck Tea Room office. An old vent was removed by Dean S. and Martin. Nigel treated the deck and Ian trimmed a brass stud. Sewage inspections were carried out by Stuart and new cables were installed.

 10 - 16 December: Christmas wreath-making on board!

This week, we feature our Christmas wreath-making event which took place in the Royal Deck Tea Room with our host Judy Reid, the Royal Florist. Our visitors enjoy being photographed at the Bell on the Verandah Deck and the Royal Deck Tea Room provides the perfect location to relax with friends and family during the tour. Our Christmas decorations are also on view across all five decks. Pashley delivered a Britannia bike and one lucky visitor experienced a birthday surprise on board. Our Gift Shop continues the countdown to the festive holidays with stocking filler ideas for all the family.

Mark S. constructed pigeon holes for the Gift Shop stock. Jay, Martin and Paul A. continued work on the handrails, whilst Martin and Sean worked on a ladder handrail. Ian welded an angle bar, Dean S. repaired the cistern in one of the customer toilets and Nigel power washed the overheads on the Starboard.

3 - 9 December: Britannia Christmas Corgis!

This week we feature our visitors starting their tour at the Bridge. A special team of Christmas decorating elves decked Britannia in its festive finest in time for our annual Christmas Weekend. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, created a stunning chocolate sculpture of a Christmas tree and angel. Elsewhere in the Galley, Brendan prepared the delicious sun-dried tomato pin wheel canapés for a tourism event hosted by the Marketing team. We also show a sneak peek behind the scenes of our Christmas Corgi video! Our Gift Shop continues the countdown to the festive holidays with discounted decorations.

The team continued their work on the handrails. Sean polished the stainless steel covers, as Martin and Paul A. applied a light stain of varnish to complete them. Dean and Nigel refreshed the inboard screen on the Starboard Upper Deck with a coat of white paint whilst Stuart re-wired the hot water boiler.

November 2016

26 November - 2 December: Christmas Corgis!

This week we feature our visitors on the Bridge and from the quayside. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, prepared petit fours of delicious shortbread and carrot cake for a media visit with our Marketing team. To celebrate St Andrew's Day, our Galley created a haggis, neeps and tatties dish which was served in our Royal Deck Tea Room. As we head into December, our Gift Shop team have fully embraced the festive spirit with a lovely window display, complete with Santa's sleigh. Our corgis are dressed for Christmas as our Christmas Corgi Treasure Hunt continues until the 31 December. A wonderful sunset was captured by our resident photographer, Ruth.

Our Maintenance team have continued their work on the handrails as Jay knocked in the dowels and Martin polished the brass cap ends. Sean also chiselled out rebates on the handrails. Meanwhile, Dean fitted a non-return valve on a cold water feed pipe. Head of Maintenance, Derek, assited Gary in the new Pastry Galley as Paul secured the electic wiring.

19 - 25 November: Cupcakes, maps and Christmas tree.

Our visitors have enjoyed their complimentary audio guided tour, as well as taking lots of photographs along the tour route. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, baked new cupcake flavours: Lemon and Poppyseed Cupcakes, and Milk and White Chocolate Cupcakes. The perfect complement was prepared by Head Waiter, Morven, in the Royal Deck Tea Room, a decadent Hot Chocolate with snowflake decoration.

We are thrilled to welcome on board Dean Wands to the Marketing team. We received a kind donation of maps detailing the routes of Britannia for Royal visits from the 1970s and 80s. The ‘Yottie Bear’ Treasure Hunt continues throughout the month of November, with our bears hidden over the five decks. Our festive 30-foot Christmas tree arrived, marking the start of the festive season. In our Gift Shop we show a selection of the luxury products by The Fine Scottish Soap Company and our range of handmade Britannia jams.

Following the completion of the Maintenance team's work on the hull, the pontoon was moved back to its original postion. Bloodhound then also returned to the Starboard hull. Martin continued his work on the handrails and Joss then fitted the finished handrails back in place. Paul A. sanded the Upstand blocks whilst Stuart fitted new taps in the Household Mess Pantry. Meanwhile, the new hood was fitted in the Pastry Galley.

12 - 18 November: Fruit scones and Portmeirion China!

In the Galley, the team have been busy baking the delicious fruit scones that are served daily in the Royal Deck Tea Room. This week we are delighted to welcome David Cadona and Paul Miller, Janitors, and Edward Humphrey, Visitor Assistant, to Britannia. The Gift Shop feature a snapshot of our book range and adorable West Highland Terrier themed trinkets.  We also show the perfect 'Holly and the Ivy' Portmeirion China serving collection for your festive celebrations. 

Ian, Mark L. and Darren practice using the evacuation chair from the Tea Room to the Verandah Deck. Work continues on Fingal as a main access was cut into the side and the gangaway fitted. Mark L. fitted the cover plates to the Upstands on the Starboard Upper Deck Waist. Ian used his grinding tool on an Upstand whilst Paul varnished handrails. Nigel continued the work on the hull as he applied a base coat prior to the gold leaf application.

5 - 11 November: The countdown to Christmas!

Our Visitors have enjoyed taking photographs around the yacht this week. The Galley team have been busy preparing chocolate macarons for our evening events, scones for the Tea Room and our traditional hand-made Christmas puddings. Anna and Kate were hard at work wrapping the puddings to be sold in our Gift Shop and online. As the countdown to the 25th of December begins, we show a selection of the Christmas products sold in our Gift Shop.

Work continued on board as Dean brazed a joint for a brass T piece. Martin and Jay prepared and scraped the varnish off handrails. After re-painting the varnish, Jay then replaced the finished handrails. Dean and Nigel continued their work applying the gold leaf along the side of Britannia.

October 2016

29 October - 4 November: Exhibition, the Bridge and Miles the bear!

We feature photographs of our visitors in the Visitor Centre viewing our exhibition pre-boarding Britannia. Executive Pastry Chef Stephen was busy in the Galley baking bread rolls for an exclusive evening event. We shine a spotlight on the Bridge, the top deck and first part of the tour as you step on board. We are delighted to welcome Fionnuala Parfery to our Visitor Experience team as Visitor Assistant. Our Gift Shop show a selection of stunning jewellery as well as our latest addition, Miles the bear!

The Maintenance team continued their work on the hull, as Joss and Nigel applied the gold leaf. Gary fixed the locks on the doors in the Petty Officers' and Royal Marine Sergeants' Mess bar, whilst Ian carried out his maintenance checks on the Royal Barge. Paul worked on the wiring of one of the onboard staff showers. Mark L used his grinding tool on the upstand on the Starboard Upper Deck, as Jay sorted out the chaffing wood required. Jay also removed a handrail on the Starboard Upper Deck Aft. 

22 - 28 October: Bloody Mary cocktails and sweet treats!

We've had another busy week on board, as the October holidays continue. Our Galley team have been hard at work baking scones for the Tea Room, whilst the Tea Room baristas have created a Bloody Mary cocktail, to be served this Hallowe'en. We were delighted to welcome on board Andrew Pinock to our Visitor Experience team. In our Shop, we show a selection of our products from the Scottish Fine Soap Company, as well as some of the sweet treats available.

In the next stage of the process to paint the hull, Joss attached masking tape to the Starboard shipside and Dean applied the base coat. Tony sewed on his dress ship flags, whilst Stuart worked in the Junior Rates shower room. Ian completed engine checks on the activity boat and Sean sanded a handrail from the Starboard Upper Deck. Jay repaired one of the scupper boards from the Starboard Upper Deck Waist.

15 - 21 October: Holidays and Halloween treats!

With the October holidays now in full swing, we have welcomed visitors on board from all over the world. As well as audio guides in 27 languages, we also offer large print scripts and British Sign Language tablets which all provide fascinating stories and facts across the five decks. We were delighted to welcome Princess Eugenie's former Royal nanny on board this week, who had a wonderful time reminiscing about her time on Britannia. The team in the Galley have been busy serving delicious cakes, soups and sandwiches for our lovely visitors whilst also preparing spooky treats for Halloween! Our resident confectioner, Poppy, has also produced a 'spooktacular' chocolate and orange fudge.

This week, Joss and Dean M. washed down the deck outside the Royal Deck Tea Room whilst Ian performed routine maintenance checks on the Royal Barge. Martin and Sean prepared and sanded handrails prior to Paul A. applying a layer of varnish. Sean and Paul A. then sanded and varnished the side pads for the Shelter Deck. With only 9 weeks to go until Christmas, Mark made a holder for the Christmas tree, which is traditionally placed on the Bridge.

8- 14 October: #CorgiSelfie, Hot Toddys and holiday games.

Visitors have been taking part in our #CorgiSelfie competition to win a box of fudge, from the onboard NAAFI. The Petty Officers’ and Royal Marine Sergeants’ Mess is always a popular spot to take a snap behind the bar. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, created white chocolate hollow spheres. The team in the Tea Room have experimented to create the perfect Hot Toddy recipe for those cold Autumn days. Meanwhile our Gift Shop shows a selection of games, perfect to keep the wee ones occupied over the October holidays.  

Mark L. modifies the cover plate and fits it on the starboard waste. Jay changes a lightbulb for an emergency light whilst Ian manufactured the seating for the new water tank. Following the preparations of the last few weeks, the team started to paint the starboard side of the hull.

1 - 7 October: Our lovely visitors, cuddly corgis and delicious fudge!

This week, we feature pictures of Visitor Assistant Carol on the Verandah Deck as she offers to take visitors photographs and answer their questions. The Galley team continue to prepare their delicious sweet and savoury treats for the Tea Room, whilst our Food and Beverage Services Manager, Bruce, picks out the ideal accompaniment. The Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt returns for the month of October as the corgis hide along the tour route. We also go behind the scenes as Resident Confectioner Poppy prepares the scrumptious chocolate and orange fudge.

Joss and Dean M. continued the team's sanding preparation work on Britannia's hull. Ian and Mark L. prepared and put in place the framework for our new exit sign. They then checked the seating for the new water tank, while Martin removed the varnish from the handrails. Paul A. painted the space left behind on the Fo'c'sle Deck, meanwhile Stuart fixed a toilet on the tour route.

September 2016

24 - 30 September: Exploring the Bridge and new Christmas products!

This week we had a lovely group visit Britannia, in Edinburgh for a reunion, after having worked together 16 years ago in the Philippines General Hospital. We’ve also featured some of our visitors exploring the Bridge, as well as some detailed shots of some of Britannia’s original equipment from 1953. Our team in the Royal Galley has been busy preparing for an exclusive evening event and some brand new Christmas products have arrived in our Gift Shop.

Paul A. has been busy working on handrails this week, as well as sanding and varnishing some wooden doors. Nigel and Joss have continued work on the starboard side of the ship, painting Britannia’s hull. Stuart has been working on pipework for new fresh water tanks, while Jay is helped by work experience student and sea cadet, Sara.

17 - 23 September: Welcome Flora and a lovely sweet treat from our Gift Shop!

We show our visitors along the tour route, from the Wardroom to the Crew's Quarters. The Galley team led by Executive Chef, Mark, prepare for an exclusive evening event with salmon blinis and freshly baked bread rolls. We welcome to the Events team, Flora, in her new role as Sales & Events Executive. In our Gift Shop we feature Scottish honey from the Lammermuir Hills, as well as a selection of trivia games.

The Maintenance team have been working on the hull and on the tour route this week. Paul D has been re-routing Britannia’s onboard electrics, whilst Sean and Dean M have been preparing the hull for painting. Mark S created a new door for the tour route. Ian completed the new exit sign and Paul A built a shelf for the onboard Events office.

10- 16 September: Calligraphy and the 'China Ready' photoshoot!

We welcome visitors at our handset desk this week and feature the tour route in the State Dining Room and Sun Lounge. Behind the scenes, we photograph our evening events calligrapher, David, in the Admiral's Day Cabin. David has been a calligrapher for over 60 years and expertly personalises invitations for our exclusive Britannia evening events. We were also delighted to welcome on board photographer Yao Hui and his models for a photoshoot for the 'China Ready' campaign. We say farewell to Janitor, Raymond, who retires this week after 8 years at Britannia. We wish him all the best. Our Gift Shop shows off the first Christmas gifts, available in our shop in Ocean Terminal.

Nigel prepares Britannia’s hull for painting by sanding down any rust patches and then plastering for a smooth surface, in readiness for Britannia’s iconic blue paint finish. Paul D replaces a light in the lift tower. Ian creates a post for the exit sign whilst Mark S. recycles an original wooden plinth to create a soap dish. Stuart and Dean S. inspect the water tank and pump house.

3 - 9 September: Behind the scenes in the China and Glass Pantry!

The summer holidays may have come to an end, but we are still busy on board!  The Gift Shop show a selection of their tea range which includes the new Brodies Edinburgh tea tin. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, has been busy baking cakes in the Galley, which the ever-busy Tea Room team have been serving to our delighted visitors. We feature items from the China and Glass Pantry, including glasses from the reign of Edward VII, engraved with the Royal Cypher.

This week in the Maintenance team, Ian prepared metal work for the new exit sign. Nigel, Tony and Joss worked together to chip away paint on the starboard side. They will paint the hull over the next few weeks. Sean painted the scupper on the Shelter Deck whilst Stuart fixed a sink in the Pot Wash. Ian measured a hole for a blanking plate that he will create later this week. Mark made a new shape box for the starboard bridge wing and Paul A. fixed a handrail from the Fo'c'sle. 

August 2016

27 August - 2 September: Bloodhound returns!

We share great photographs of our visitors on the Bridge as they start their tour of Britannia’s five decks. Prince Philip’s former Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound returned from a successful month of day charters in Oban. We show a selection of cookery books, available in the Gift Shop; perfect for those who love baking, as well as a selection of miniature jams and chutneys, all made in Scotland.

The State Dining Room table is set for an exclusive evening event, with each guest receiving a personalised place card and menu. The Galley staff have been very busy in the final weeks of the holiday, serving thousands of visitors a delicious range of soups, sandwiches and sweet treats. Veterans of the World War II Arctic Convoys to Russia gathered for a photo call on Tuesday and were presented with their new Ushakov medals. In Her Majesty's favourite room onboard, our Photographer in Residence took some lovely snaps as well as taking a closer look at the silver in the pantry.

The Maintenance team have completed a variety of jobs on board this week. Following Bloodhound's arrival in Leith, Tony ensured that all the equipment was removed and stored for the next trip. Paul D changed lightbulbs onboard whilst Jay reparied a tracker for a door in the Tea Room. Mark L drilled a bracket and run a tap to create the holes. Nigel and Dean M worked together to prepare the freeboard and handrails for painting.

20 - 26 August: New signage, chairs and menus!

We feature our visitors along the tour route and taking a 'corgi selfie' in the Petty Officers’ and Royal Marine Petty Officers’ and Royal Marine Sergeants’ Mess. During August we have 22 No. 22 buses with our Britannia branding along the side, which travel from Leith to the city centre. Additional signage is now also in place outside Ocean Terminal, helping to direct our visitors from the bus stops to Britannia’s Visitor Centre.

The Gift Shop has a great range of 'back to school' stationery, as the Scottish summer holidays draw to a close. The NAAFI team have worked incredibly hard this month to make and sell over 600 boxes of home-made fudge to keep up with demand! Everything is kept in pristine condition on board Britannia and in the last few weeks, our State Dining Room chairs have all been French polished and re-upholstered and we have introduced Britannia leather embossed menus to the Tea Room.

The Maintenance team have continued their work on the modesty rail as they sand and polish for the perfect finish. Paul changed the emergency lighting in the Tea Room. Mark measured and drilled holes for the front handles to go on a cabinet  whilst Nigel and Sean painted the handrails along the Shelter Deck.

13 - 19 August: Sunshine, cake & Christmas puddings!

We have had another busy week on board, with the sun shining on Britannia. This week we feature some of our visitors from across the world, as they tour Britannia's five decks and meet our Visitor Experience team, who are always on hand to help. With only 18 weeks to go until the 25th of December, our traditional Christmas puddings, made on board with the original recipe used for the Royal family, have arrived for sale in the Gift Shop. In the onboard Galley, Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, and Junior Sous Chef, Rafal, prepare popular items from the Royal Deck Tea Room menu. We are also delighted to welcome Kate to Britannia, who has joined our Events team as Hospitality & Events Assistant. One of the smaller rooms on board, we also feature the Britannia Mail Office.

The Maintenance team have taken advantage of the beautiful, sunny weather to paint along the Starboard Shelter Deck. Paul A painted the side panels of the Laundry gangway whilst Paul D ran new cabling in the Sailing Exhibition. Stuart replaced a filter in the water tank and Jay moved the filing cabinet for the Marketing department. Ian worked on the Fast Motor Launch boat in its bilges of the boat and also drained it of fuel.

6 - 12 August: Record number of visitors!

It has been a very busy week, with a record number of visitors on board, including our busiest day since we opened in 1998! We go behind the scenes in the gleaming Engine Room and take a look at the Gift Shop’s collection of 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles - perfect for the rainy days we’ve had this week! Also new in our Gift Shop is a book by Former Royal Yachtsman James 'Tiny' Little, 'a Little goes a Long Way', which details his incredible journey rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The Galley team bake dozens of delicious fruit and plain scones every day which are served up in the Royal Deck Tea Room with clotted cream and jam. We also feature our beautiful fresh flowers which visitors will find throughout the tour on Britannia, as they would have while the ship was in Royal service.

In the Maintenance team, Paul painted a crest on to the perry buoy whilst Stuart polished the brass cap ends for a handrail. Gary worked on a door for the Fan Space. Sean, Dean and Joss worked together to oil the decking which will ensure that the wood is preserved. Meanwhile, Nigel cleaned up the rust spots on the bulwark.

30 July - 5 August: New Shop products & petit fours with edible gold!

Bloodhound safely arrived in Oban and is looking beautiful in the photographs taken by our photographer in residence. New flags are flying this week on the Fo'c'sle Deck. Our Gift Shop shows a selection of its fantastic new products: The Royal Marines 2016 album, Manumit scarves and a promotion featuring our guidebook and Britannia shortbread. Victoria has been busy in the Galley, creating Salted Caramel petit fours, which are dusted with edible gold! We welcome Gillian to our Security team, as she starts her new role as a Security Officer.

Rab, from our Maintenance team, travelled to Oban with Bloodhound and will be with the crew during the private charter day sailing in August. They also successfully transported the Activity Boat to Oban. Back on board, Sean, Dean and Joss scraped and varnished the wood on the modesty rail. Mark modified the fire hose basket storage unit and also manufactured a new set of doors for the Fingal office.

July 2016

23 - 29 July: Bloodhound sails to Oban!

With the sun shining, Bloodhound started its journey to Oban on Monday. The Gift Shop shows a selection from its commemorative Fine Bone China range. As the summer season is underway, we welcome two new members to the Galley team, Bob and Eryk. Victoria and Stephen, Commis and Executive Pastry Chefs, created the delicious chocolate fudge cake which is served in the Royal Deck Tea Room. We also go behind the scenes of the Duke of Edinburgh's Sitting Room.

The Maintenance team have worked incredibly hard on Bloodhound over the last few months.  Following Bloodhound's departure Dean and Joss have been busy working on refurbishing the handrails along the tour route. Mark changed a light fitting in the Lift Tower. Gary and Mark removed an old safe.

16 - 22 July: Britannia in the brilliant sunshine & Marketing evening event!

This week, we feature our lovely visitors on board Britannia, enjoying the sunshine whilst touring the five decks. Our Gift Shop show their range of glamorous Azuni aqua jewellery, as well as their miniature gin in conjunction with Pickering’s. Our Chief Executive, Bob Downie, has written a chapter in the book 'In Fingal's Wake'. Owned by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, as a part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, Fingal is now painted as a Dazzle ship. The Marketing department held a familiarisation event with our trade partners to thank them for their help so far this year and for the season ahead.

Nigel applied gold leaf to the hull, a tradition upheld from when Britannia was in Royal service. Final preparations have taken place on Bloodhound, ready for her departure on Monday for Oban, including checks on the batteries, winches and the replacement of the timber panel. Sean polished the emergency life belt cradle whilst Gary fixed a lock in the Visitor Centre.

9 - 15 July: Photocall, 90yr old winner & 'Yottie' jumper!

With the lovely sunny weather, a photocall for Britannia staff (Housekeeping, Visitor Experience, Galley, Tea Room, Maintenance and Security) took place this week and Harry, Finance Assistant, had his modelling debut, showing off our new wool jumper, a replica of those worn by the Former Royal Yachtsmen and now on sale in our Gift Shop

All the staff on board gave a very warm welcome to Betty Landells who was nominated by her grand-daughter, Susanne, in our competition to find a 90 year old to be treated like royalty for the day. Betty was chauffeur driven to the Yacht, welcomed on the red carpet and presented with a bouquet by Matthew Wood (our photographer’s son) before enjoying a private tour and champagne lunch. We were also delighted this week to welcome back our Sous Chef Brendan.

Maintenance continues aboard Bloodhound with checks taking place to prepare for the journey to Oban. Final preparation included the varnishing of the deck by Rab whilst Martin varnished the Activity Boat. Jay created a support to allow for the varnishing of handrails on board. Jay also worked on the walkway with the help of Martin and Dean.

2 - 8 July: Flying flags & 'Yottie' bears!

This week we have featured some great photographs from the Verandah deck with Britannia's flags flying high. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, has been busy in the Pastry Galley preparing the mixture for the delicious home-baking served in our Royal Deck Tea Room. The 'Yottie’ bears made a return on Monday for the ‘Yottie’ bear treasure hunt. The model Britannia which led the parade for The Queen's 90th birthday parade in London has been attracting lots of attention, taking pride of place opposite the entrance to our Visitor Centre.

Our Maintenance team return the Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound back to her berth, from her position on the quayside back to the water, where she has been undergoing her annual maintenance. In two weeks, she will make her annual journey to Oban, via the Caledonian Canal, crewed by the former Royal Yachtsmen ‘Yotties’, when she will be available for day charter. With the use of the crane, the team also removed a flag from the top of the main mast. Work continued on board as Mark, Paul and Stuart changed bulbs, fitted exhaust fans and beading on doorframes. These smaller jobs are crucial to ensuring that Britannia stays ship shape! 

June 2016

25 June - 1 July: Britannia gin, Champagne & Wimbledon fudge!

In partnership with Pickering’s Gin, we launched our exclusive new Britannia Gin! It is a unique blend of 16 botanicals, each originating from a port visited by the Royal Yacht during her 44 years at sea. To celebrate the start of Wimbledon, our resident confectioner has created a special ‘Strawberries & Cream’ fudge. The Tea Room showed us their new Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial, whilst the Galley team prepared for an evening event. Rab from our Maintenance team led an in-house course, for our first aid trained staff, on using a defibrillator machine. There is now a machine on board permanently.

Our Maintenance team have continued work on Bloodhound to prepare for her trip to Oban. Jay and Greg both worked on items for the Activity Boat whilst Mark created a flange. Paul completed the detailed painting of the life belt.

18 - 24 June: 5 million visitors!

We were thrilled to welcome on board our 5 millionth visitor on Tuesday. The lucky couple, Gaynor and Glyn Thomas, were presented with a champagne lunch in our Royal Deck Tea Room to celebrate.

This week, our Gift shop features three of their new products: Britannia bears, corgis and crown keyrings. Another exciting delivery was the model Britannia which led the Patron's Lunch Parade along the Mall, in celebration of The Queen's 90th birthday. The model is now on display on the 2nd floor of Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre opposite our Visitor Centre.

The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, posed by ourBritanniabell for a quick photograph during their visit, on their return from duty in Afghanistan.

The Maintenance team have had a busy week completing lots of small jobs. In preparation for the day charters in Oban, the hull of Bloodhound was sanded. Ian and Stuart worked on the flange for the black water system, whilst Martin continued his work on the handrails. Greg was busy sanding down the bench seat from the Activity Boat. Martin and Greg also returned the paint cat back to Fingal, along with the Activity Boat.

11 - 17 June: The Queen's 90th celebratory weekend

Last weekend we celebrated The Queen's official 90th birthday with complimentary cupcakes anda glass of Britannia fizz for every visitor. We were delighted to have a programme of live music from the Tom Finlay Jazz trio and Britannia's resident pianist on the original Welmar Baby Grand piano, formerly played by Noel Coward.

In the NAAFI, our retail assistants have been busy preparing and serving our home-made fudge whilst the Pastry team baked fresh rolls. We were thrilled to announce our winners of the 'Design a Cake for The Queen' competition and reveal their winning designs.

The Maintenance team have started to paint the boot topping of Britannia. The tapping and caulking on Bloodhound has continued with Paul working on Bloodhound's copula. Other tasks completed by team include fixing handsets, creating a hose connection, washing down the decks and working on the Activity Boat engine.

4 - 10 June: A cake for The Queen & polishing the silver!

We have had another busy week on board! In the Royal Galleys our pastry team have been hard at work creating delicious desserts for our exclusive evening events. Preparation was also underway with the creation of the winning cake designs for our Design a cake for The Queen competition. Our Housekeeping team have been busy making sure that all is ship shape aboard Britannia, polishing the silver in the pantry.

This week our Maintenance team have continued their work on the bow by applying the gold leaf. On Bloodhound the Head of Maintenance, Derek, was working alongside Gary and Mark taping up the deck seams and caulking the seams of the deck. Ian worked on the Activity Boat whilst Mark and Jay varnished the handrails. Dean and Stuart fitted clips to the quayside and Paul worked on the fresh water motors.

May 2016

28 May - 3 June: Father's Day gift ideas & the Royal Galley team!

In a lovely sunny week on board, we were delighted to welcome Janice's Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy walking group, as they continue on their initial training to become Guide Dogs. With Father's Day only two weeks away, our Gift Shop is showing its range of His Lordship fine bone china which make the perfect gift and the Tea Room preview their ‘Father's Day Specials’. We go behind-the-scenes in the Royal Galley and also feature Visitor Assistant Carolann's wonderful cards, now available in our Gift Shop. We are thrilled to welcome aboard Hayley as a Visitor Experience Assistant and welcome back Catriona as our Seasonal Booking Assistant.

Nigel, Dean and Joss from the Britannia Maintenance team have started to paint Britannia's bow in preparation for the gold leaf which will be applied next week. Ian worked on the Admiral's Fast Motor Launch (FML). Prior to her private charter day sailing during August in Oban, Mark continued the team's work on Bloodhound by removing the caulking.

21 May - 27 May: Corgis’ return, our Galley team busy preparing for events & launch of Dazzle ship!

We are delighted to have our corgi treasure hunt back on the visitor route again, which is always popular with little ones and big kids too!  It has been a busy week for the Galley team preparing for our private evening events, with everything made from the best ingredients in the original Royal Galleys.  We have also been working closely with The Edinburgh Art Festival and 14-18NOW to launch Scotland’s first Dazzle ship!

Our Maintenance Team have been continuing their conservation work on Bloodhound. Mark and Jay have been sanding back the wood work and stripping back the caulking.  As well as day to day maintenance on board Britannia, the team have also been working on a new base for the Royal brow.  Ian has been working on the activity boat fixing the throttle cabling.

 14 May - 20 May: The Former Royal Yachtsmen return to Britannia!

We were thrilled to welcome back the ‘Yotties’ for their Annual Working Party in The Queen’s 90th year. It has been a wonderful week for everyone, hearing their stories of life on board while Britannia was in royal service. This week, we feature a selection of the new additions to the Royal Deck Tea Room menu and luxury items from our Gift Shop, as well as some favourite dishes from days gone by on Britannia, cooked up by the Yotties, including an old favourite, ‘Hammy, Cheesy, Eggy!

Our Maintenance team have been working on a number of projects this week. Dean and Stuart finished securing the disc for the Christmas tree holder whilst Jay, Martin and Ian worked on stanchions for the paint cat. Nigel, Rab and Joss gave the hull a spring clean. The Yotties have been a great help for the Maintenance team as they worked on one of the activity boats and retouched paintwork around the ship.

7 May - 13 May: Our wonderful visitors, special petit fours & our Housekeeping team!

The weather has been fantastic this week, with the sun shining on Britannia. We were delighted to welcome our visitors on board and feature them in this week's 'snaps'. Our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, created delicious petit fours in the Pastry Galley whilst our dedicated Housekeeping team kept Britannia looking ship shape. This week we also feature a selection of cups and mugs available in our Gift Shop.

Our Maintenance Team have been busy this week! The team have started to paint the design for the dazzling of Fingal as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival’s 2016 14 - 18 NOW Commemorations Programme. Greg continued the work on Bloodhound as he sanded the doghouse whilst Ian and Paul fixed the Activity Boat engine.

April 2016

30 April – 6 May: Sunshine on Britannia & Brand New Limited Edition Whisky!

It’s been a beautiful week in Edinburgh and a fantastic opportunity for our visitors to enjoy the Britannia tour. We are delighted to see the arrival of more Royal Collection Queen’s 90th Commemorative china, as well as our new 18 year old Single Malt Whisky, limited to only 18 bottles, to mark the 18th anniversary of Britannia arriving in Edinburgh. We’ve also featured some behind the scenes photographs from our Tea Room and a look at the Royal Barge.

Our Maintenance Team has been back aboard the Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound, continuing sanding, removing caulking and carrying out checks on the hull. The grey undercoat on the exterior of Fingal has been completed this week, in preparation for the ship to be ‘dazzled’ over the next three weeks.

23 April - 29 April: Lovely visitors & Guide Dogs on board!

We were delighted to welcome aboard the Perth & South Fife Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy walkers who came on board this week to ‘test-drive’ their puppy training and gain their sea legs! We also had a lovely gentleman on board who served in the Merchant Navy, on the SS Gothic, during the time she was used as the Royal Yacht, prior to The Royal Yacht Britannia's launch. Our team in the Pastry Gallery have also been busy this week baking delicious cakes and bread and preparing for an evening event.

Essential maintenance has continued on The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound, with the removal of caulking and stripping back old varnish. Painting has also continued on the exterior of our other vessel, Fingal, which is preparing to be ‘dazzled’, as part of the NOW14-18 Centenary Art Commissions.

16 - 22 April: Her Majesty's 90th birthday celebrations!

This week we have featured some lovely photographs of our visitors celebrating on board with complimentary cake and Britannia fizz! We were thrilled to have the Musical Mariners play on the quayside with Ruth entertaining on the piano in the Tea Room and State Drawing Room.

This week in maintenance, Dean, Ian and Mark painted an undercoat on Fingal as it is to become a 'dazzle' ship, as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival’s 2016 NOW14-18 Commemorations Programme. Paul was busy painting replacement boards and a new shelf for the Events team, whilst Jay removed and repaired a scupper board. Stuart filled in the trough used for our Christmas tree on the quayside earlier this year and Paul PAT tested an electric drill. 

9 April - 15 April: Inside The Pastry Galley & Celebrating Her Majesty The Queen!

This week we have featured some lovely photographs of our visitors exploring all over Britannia, from the Bridge and the State Dining Room to the Petty Officers' Mess. Her Majesty The Queen's 90th birthday is only one week away so we have decided to showcase some lovely commemorative gifts available in our Gift Shop, including the Royal Collection's china range. We've also gone behind the ropes to give a closer look inside The Queen's Sitting Room and the beautiful detail in Her bedroom.

It's been a busy week for our Maintenance Team this week who have been working alongside some former Royal Yachtsmen to remove The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound from the water and onto Britannia's quayside. Once securely placed on the cradle, our team will carry out some essential work. Back aboard Britannia, Nigel and Dean have been working on removing areas of rust on the upper deck starboard waist.

2 April – 8 April: Beautiful Desserts, New Product Ranges & Fresh Flowers!

With school holidays continuing we have had a large number of younger visitors taking part in our Yottie Bear Treasure Hunt and trying on the great costumes in the Petty Officers’ Mess. Our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, has been busy in the new Pastry Galley working on a special guest’s birthday cake and a pudding for an exclusive evening event. Our Gift Shop has some lovely new ranges in, including The Queen’s 90th commemorative range from Milly Green. We’ve also featured our beautiful fresh flowers arriving for the State Dining Room and our new flower baskets hanging up on Britannia’s quayside.

Our Maintenance Team have had a busy week preparing The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound which will be coming out of the water early next week for essential maintenance. This included Ian and Mark completing routine checks on Bloodhound and assembling the cradle for her to sit on, once lifted out of the water. Jay has also been working on manufacturing and painting some gatefold doors and Martin has been repairing some broken handsets.

March 2016

26 March – 1 April: Family Fun On Britannia, The Royal Deck Tea Room & Bhangra Dancing!

School holidays are in full swing and we are delighted to have seen so many lovely families join us on board this week. With the sun shining, our younger visitors enjoyed playing our giant handmade Triominoes game on the Verandah Deck. This week we also feature our Lemon Drizzle Cake being made in the Royal Galley, as well as our new teddy bears and mug to commemorate The Queen’s 90th birthday. Students from Parkinson Lane School also joined us on board with a wonderful performance of Bhangra dancing in the sunshine on Britannia’s quayside.

This week our Maintenance Team have been working on a number of projects including continuing the preservation work on the Shelter deck to remove rust. Stuart and Dean also head down into the air conditioning plant space to prepare the washing down area, as well as continuing creating new pipework for the water plant room.

19 March - 25 March: Easter Cupcakes, New Artisan Chocolates and The FML is Hoisted Up!

With some beautiful weather in Edinburgh this week, we are able to feature some lovely photographs of our visitors enjoying the outdoors on the Bridge and Verandah Deck. Easter is here and our Baker, Victoria, has created beautiful hand-made cupcakes that will be served in the Royal Deck Tea Room throughout the coming weekend. The Officers’ Fast Motor Launch (FML) was hoisted back onto Britannia’s davits this week, following complete refurbishment, thanks to all the hard work from our Maintenance Team.

Our Maintenance Team were very busy this week with all the preparations involved in the hoisting of the Officers’ FML back onto the davits. Nigel, Rab, and our newest member of the team, Dean, have all been busy working on other areas of the port shelter deck, whilst Jay works on the Bridge fixing the doors and handrails. Our other FML is now in the water and Ian has been undertaking various tasks including working on the oil fuel line.

12 March - 18 March: Easter Cupcakes Begin, New Britannia Clothing and a Visit From E.T!

It’s been a busy week aboard Britannia with various special guests joining us on board, including students from Heriot-Watt University and ET onboard with Clarence our cuddly corgi, getting ready for a screening of the film in Edinburgh, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra! Preparations were also underway in the Royal Galley for an exclusive evening event and Britannia’s Baker, Victoria, has started creating our delicious Easter cupcakes. Our Gift Shop is also delighted at the arrival of some brand new clothing, including Britannia beanies and polo shirts and our Visitor Experience team welcome some new Visitor Assistants.

Our Maintenance Team have spent the week preparing our Fast Motor Launches (FMLs), one of which will be going into the water and the other hoisted back on to the FML davits. Work has also continued in the Engineers' Workshop on some Tea Room table bases and Stuart and Dean have been working on installing new pipework.

5 March – 11 March: Cherry Pâte de Fruits, Brand New Corgis & Britannia's Dress Flags!

It’s been a busy week on board with a number of exclusive evening events taking place. We go behind-the-scenes in the Royal Galley including the creation of some beautiful Cherry Pâte de Fruits by our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen. Our Gift Shop has had some brand new corgi products arrive, as well as some beautiful new Dunoon Mugs. We’ve also featured some filming that occurred on board this week, as well as the launch of our cake competition in conjunction with Poppyscotland.

Our Maintenance Team Manager, Tony, as well as Rab and Nigel, had a busy start to the week preparing Britannia’s dress flags to be up in time for Mother’s Day. Stuart has continued working on new drainage pipework and Rab has been testing equipment and working on the Fast Motor Launch (FML).  

27 February – 4 March: The Royal Deck Tea Room, The Pastry Galley & The Release Of Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Chinaware!

This week we have featured many of our lovely visitors, including Sally Hyder and her Assistance Dog, Harmony, who were assessing Britannia’s accessibility on board. We’ve also shown a new mocktail being made in the Royal Deck Tea Room, as we see our baker, Victoria, carefully preparing some beautiful pastry caskets for an evening event. We are delighted to announce that the Royal Collection’s new commemorative china range has arrived this week in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday. This stunning range is now available online and in our Gift Shop.

Our Maintenance Team have continued work in the new Pastry Galley with the installation of the brand new mixer. Ian, one of our engineers, has returned to the Royal Barge to carry out some routine checks, and Paul and Mark have continued work on new display boxes and slat walls for the Gift Shop.

February 2016

20 February – 26 February: Sunshine On Britannia, Mother’s Day Ideas & Guide Dog Puppies!

We’ve had beautiful weather here in Edinburgh this week, which has given us the perfect opportunity to photograph some of our lovely guests in the sunshine. Also featured, are our delicious Mother’s Day specials in The Royal Deck Tea Room, as well as some beautiful gift ideas from our Gift Shop. On Thursday, we invited aboard some furry friends from Guide Dogs Scotland who came to get their ‘sea legs’ as a part of their Guide Dog training.

Our Maintenance team this week have continued work in the Engine Room with Dean and Stuart fitting new drainage pipes to lead through to the sewage treatment plant. Ian has also been busy again in the Engineers’ Workshop grinding new brackets for the new drainage pipes and Rab and Nigel have been down in the Generator Room preparing surfaces prior to painting.

13 February - 19 February: February Half Term Fun, Macarons & Our New Tabua!

It’s been a busy week aboard Britannia with the February half term holidays in full swing! Our younger visitors have been enjoying participating in the Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt, listening to our fabulous children’s audio tour and tasting some free home-made fudge samples in the NAAFI. We’ve also featured some shots of our Tea Room and our baker, Victoria, creating delicious pistachio macarons in the Pastry Galley.  This week a Tabua, an important cultural item in Fijian society, has been added to the tour route and our Marketing Manager, Emma, was interviewed for STV.

This week our Maintenance team have been working on a few of Britannia’s other boats, the fast motor launch (FML) and The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound. Ian has been busy in the engineers’ workshop working on a number of things, whilst Dean fits some new drainage pipes between the Engine Room and the after sewage treatment plant (STP).

6 February - 12 February: Pancake Day, Valentine's Day & LEGO Britannia!

Britannia’s Baker, Victoria, has been busy this week, preparing for Pancake Day, when our Royal Deck Tea Room was serving some delicious pancakes for the occasion. We’ve also featured our brand new Valentine Kiss fudge (strawberry, chocolate and marshmallow), created by our Confectioner in the onboard NAAFI. Our Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt has also returned and there’s been lots of excitement about the arrival of our 11 foot LEGO model of Britannia!

Work has continued in the new Pastry Galley this week with the installation of some new shelving by Gary and Martin. Gary and Joss have also been preparing some new boxes and shelving for stock in our Gift Shop. Down in the Engineers' Workshop Ian gives an insight into annealing brass and maintaining his tools, and Jay and Greg have both been working on the starboard bridge doors.

30 January - 5 February: Our Wonderful Visitors, Valentine's Macarons and the NAAFI's New Sweets!

This week we feature our wonderful visitors as they tour Britannia's five decks. Meanwhile in the Royal Galley Victoria, our trainee pastry chef, has created delicious raspberry and vanilla macarons, a lovely treat for your Valentine, with a glass of Champagne, in our  the Royal Deck Tea Room on the 14th February. We’ve also highlighted our lovely 60th Anniversary homeware with artwork by John Ireland, alongside the new sweet jars in the NAAFI, created by our Marketing team. Our new additions to the Unwinding Room have been settling into their new home this week!

This week our Maintenance Team have been busy sewing our new dress ship flags. Martin has been varnishing the port bridge doors, whilst Gary and Stuart started work on the shelving and units in the new Pastry Galley. Braving the winter weather, Nigel was working hard, working on the Fast Motor Launch (FML).

January 2016

23 January - 29 January: The Queen's Sitting Room, Scottish Salmon & Tempering Chocolate!

Our brilliant team in the Royal Galleys have been working on a brand new addition to The Royal Deck Tea Room, a lovely pairing of Scottish salmon and whisky, which will be available soon. This week we have featured our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, tempering out some chocolate for some stunning chocolate shards, to be used for an exclusive evening event. We’ve also included some intricate detail shots of The Queen’s Sitting Room, where she would have undertaken many Royal duties, as well as some interesting new additions to the Unwinding Room.

Our Maintenance Team have been working on a number of different projects this week, including the alteration of bench seating for a surprise new addition coming to Britannia in the next few weeks. Ian has also been working in the Engineers’ Workshop fixing some of our Tea Room’s tea pots, whilst Rab, Tony and Nigel wash down the decks and the port bridge doors are prepared for varnishing.

16 January - 22 January: The Wardroom Anteroom, The Royal Galley & Brand New Teddy Bears!

Our visitors have been able to enjoy the experience of relaxing in the Wardroom Anteroom with teas and coffees this week due to our Royal Deck Tea Room currently undergoing essential maintenance. We have also featured some great shots of a few of our Royal Galley chefs preparing salmon, cakes and desserts for exclusive evening events. A few of Britannia’s Scottish products have been highlighted in celebration of Burns Night, alongside a few sneak peek shots of some brand new Teddy Bears.

Our Maintenance Team have been busy this week refurbishing The Royal Deck Tea Room for the season ahead. After removing all the furniture and equipment from the Tea Room Galley, they have been working on replacing redundant light fittings, screeding the Galley floors, painting the bathrooms and cleaning and oiling the Tea Room decking.

9 January – 15 January:  Royal Sailing Exhibition, Turkish Delight & Fingal!

This week we have featured our fantastic Royal Sailing Exhibition, a wonderful look into sailing and its importance within The Royal Family, as well as The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound. Our team in the Pastry Galley have been busy preparing fantastic treats for some special guests, as well as some delicious Pistachio Turkish Delight. Our Maintenance Team have been doing some exciting work on our other vessel, Fingal, and we also had a lovely visit from Roz Savage MBE, the world's foremost female ocean rower.

This week in Maintenance, Gary and Mark have been busy away in the Royal Chartroom, removing deck head panels in search for a possible leak from the Bridge. Mark has continued work in the Engineering Workshop, on welding a pump seating for the after STP. Jay has also been repairing more handrails, alongside our newest member of the team, Greg.

2 January - 8 January: Our Lovely Visitors, Jasmine Tea Petit Fours & Captain Bear Treasure Hunt!

2016 is back in action and we are delighted to feature some of our fantastic first few visitors of the year enjoying their tour of Britannia. This week we also show our talented Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen Espouy, working on a number of sweet treats in the original Royal Galley, including lemon tarts and petit fours. We also show some great hooded jumpers for sale in the Gift Shop, a perfect souvenir for the kids! Our Captain Bear Treasure Hunt is in full swing, with a Family Hamper up for grabs!

Our Maintenance Team have had a busy start to the year, preparing many safety checks and ensuring everything is order for 2016. Mark, one of our talented joiners, has been busy in the workshop creating some new picture frames and Dean and Stuart have been working on removing an old sewage pump from the stabiliser compartment.

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2015

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2014

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2013

See Weekly 'Snaps' from 2012


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Britannia Bell

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