Inspiring Workplaces: The Royal Yacht Britannia

Inspiring Workplaces: The Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world. Now a tourism attraction berthed in Edinburgh, we chat to Bruce MacBride to find out what it’s like to work on a Royal Yacht!

Describe your business in no more than 100 words.

The Royal Yacht Britannia, the iconic ship, is an award-winning visitor attraction and exclusive evening events venue, permanently moored in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith.

What kind of workplace do you have?

Our offices are on board the Yacht.  As food & beverage services manager, I have a port-hole for a window!                        

Tell us about the history of the Yacht

Britannia is The Queen’s former floating palace. For over 44 years it sailed round the globe, holding glittering state visits and official receptions, and playing host to some of the most influential people in the world, including Sir Winston Churchill, President Ronald Reagan and President Nelson Mandela.

95% of the original items from when Britannia was in royal service are still on board including furniture, artefacts, paintings and photographs. These are kindly on loan to Britannia from the Royal Collection.

What makes your workplace special?

Launched in 1953, this magnificent ship was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family, and is full of original artifacts and furniture. Our offices are in the suite of former guest bedrooms below the State Dining Room.

This famous ship has been named in TripAdvisor’s UK Top Ten for 3 years and has consistently been judged Scotland's best visitor attraction by our national tourism agency, VisitScotland, for ten years' running.

How does this affect morale, productivity, staff retention?

Working on board Britannia is utterly unique. The ship is so steeped in history that it’s hard not to feel the magic.  Knowing how much The Queen adored her Royal Yacht, as one sets foot on board, and there’s a certain ambiance which we’re all respective of.

What kind of reaction do you get from visitors and clients when they see how you work?

The food for our evening events is cooked in Britannia’s original Royal Galleys, and our wines and champagnes are stored in cellars on the lower decks. Clients and visitors find the same high standards today as when Britannia was in Royal service.