No other shipwreck has captured the public imagination quite like the Titanic has (despite the intentions of a certain Italian captain recently); a full hundred years later and there's an entire industry of books, movies and memorabilia about the ship's unfortunate meeting with an iceberg. To commemorate the centenary of Titanic's sinking, a number of events will be taking place soon; chief amongst them the opening of the Titanic Belfast, a museum that documents the life of the majestic ship, a memorial cruise that recreates that of the Titanic a century ago and a 3D version of that little film by James Cameron.
Titanic Belfast Visitors Centre
You might mistake the distinctive shape of the Titanic Belfast Centre with the bow of a beached ship upon first sighting it from a distance, but the double bow design of the centre is a modern architectural take that is reminiscent of the bows of the Olympic-class ocean liners it is dedicated to - the RMS Titanic and the only survivor of her class, the RMS Olympic (the other Olympic-class liner the HMHS Britannic was sunk in WWI). Why Belfast? Well, the capital of Northern Ireland was a shipbuilding centre at the beginning of the 20th century, with many of the behemoths of the time built by Harland and Wolff - the pre-eminent ship-builders in the region. The centre is set to open on the 31st of March and advance tickets are selling for £13.50 for adults and £34 for families; nine interactive galleries, exhibitions and much more will be on display.
Watch the time-lapse video of the centre being built below.
For the less superstitious amongst us, the ultimate Titanic adventure would be the two cruises - one departing from New York and the other from Southampton - to the exact spot where the Titanic met her demise. Descendants of passengers, the general public and thrill-seekers will partake in this once-in-a-lifetime event, which will include lectures throughout. The New York leg will leave on the 10th of April, touch base at Halifax and then hold memorial services at the exact spot where the Titanic sank on the 14th and 15th of April. The Southampton leg will depart two days earlier and meet her American counterpart at the site before continuing on to New York. Prices are, shall we say, pricey, but for an experience like this well worth it.
Titanic the 3D Movie
To coincide with the centenary Titanic (the film) will be re-released in all its 3D glory. Be sure to put on a raincoat and some mittens before watching, in addition to those ill-fitting 3D glasses, in case shards of the iceberg leap off the screen into the theatre. For less depressing fare we suggest renting out Titanic 2; to paraphrase the story-line: on the centenary of the original a memorial cruise (sound familiar?) encounters a tsunami hurtling an iceberg into its path. Ludicrous plot, poor acting and unreal scenarios - the best movie schlock Hollywood can stitch together.
Watch a trailer of the 3D version below.
For more Titanic-related events visit the Titanic Heritage Trust.more blog posts