Franck Bruyère takes the helm of The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust

Franck Bruyere
Franck Bruyère, new CEO of The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust

For the first time in 26 years, a new CEO will stand at the helm of The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust.

Franck Bruyère, 45, will replace Bob Downie when he retires later this year after 26 years in charge of the award-winning maritime attraction Britannia, and its sister-ship, the luxury floating hotel Fingal.

This momentous change of crew was announced by Rear Admiral Neil Rankin CB CBE, chairman of The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, who said: “After a rigorous and thorough search, the Board of Trustees are confident that in Franck Bruyère we have found a very worthy successor to Bob Downie, who has been at the heart of Britannia’s outstanding success as a leading visitor attraction over many years.

“Franck Bruyère comes with a wealth of experience in the hotel, hospitality and visitor attraction industry and we look forward to the business continuing to move forward under his direction.”

Mr Bruyère, whio is currently the Trust’s Director of Hospitality, brings over 25 years’ global hospitality management experience to the new role. His ‘people first’ approach has taken him around the world, working for renowned hotels like Renaissance Worthington, USA; InterContinental Paris Le Grand; Fairmont Monte Carlo; Fairmont St Andrews; and The Caledonian Edinburgh.

More recently, before joining the Trust, Mr Bruyère also played a key role in the pre-opening and opening team of Edinburgh’s latest retail and lifestyle destination, St James Quarter, as director of operations and sustainability strategy.

The Royal Yacht Britannia, docked at Leith
The Royal Yacht Britannia, docked at Leith

Bruyère said: “It’s a huge privilege and an honour to be given the opportunity to lead the outstanding award-winning teams on both Britannia and our sister-ship, the luxury floating hotel Fingal, and to follow in the footsteps of Bob Downie who has done so much to improve the quality of customer experiences in Scotland.

“The ongoing regeneration of the Port of Leith with the recently opened tram link to Edinburgh city centre offers a fantastic opportunity for the area to make an even greater contribution to the UK’s second most visited city.”

Britannia has been voted Tripadvisor’s No.1 UK Attraction twice, plus winning the title of Best UK Attraction, as voted for by readers of Which Magazine, two years in a row.

Fingal was recently crowned ‘AA Hotel of the Year Scotland 2023-24’ by the Automobile Association, and earlier this year, Fingal sailed to the top of the world’s best hotels list in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2024.