Titanic memorial cruises go down well

//Titanic memorial cruises go down well

April 2012 will see the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and it’s beginning to look like the spot where the doomed liner went down is going to be a little crowded, with the announcement that a second cruise ship will make a memorial voyage to the site.
Enterprising UK agent Miles Morgan Travel has almost sold out places on board Balmoral, coincidentally the ship on which I am currently returning from a cruise to the Baltic.
The 1,350-passenger Fred Olsen ship will leave Southampton on April 8 next year, following the Titanic’s original course and calling at Cherbourg n France and Queenstown, or Cobh, in southern Ireland. On April 15 it will hold a ceremony over the position in the north Atlantic where the liner struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.
It will now be joined by 682-passenger Azamara Journey, which has been chartered for the occasion by the North Carolina-based Willtiger Corporation. The 10-day round trip from Boston will spend three days at the Titanic shipwreck site, and will receive live video feed from an underwater vehicle exploring the wreckage.
Some descendants of those who died on the Titanic wrote to Cruise Critic to criticise the Balmoral event, claiming that plans for fancy dress parties were macabre.
Goodness knows what they will make of some of the ways the Azamara Journey will be marking the event. According to the company’s official announcement, tin addition to three memorial services and a wreath-laying ceremony, they include “a prestigious line-up of maritime and fashion researchers and historians, executives from international Titanic societies, and survivors’ relatives.”
Dinner menus will feature dishes from recipes served aboard the Titanic and guests will have an opportunity to “learn the Irish dance with which the ship’s third class passengers would have celebrated.”
I get the feeling somebody has been watching too many movies.
Without a hint of irony, Azamara Club Cruises’ president and CEO Larry Pimentel said: “It is truly an honour to charter Azamara Journey to Voyages! Titanic 2012 and help memorialize one of the most well-known maritime events in history.”
Among the lecturers on board Balmoral will be Philip Littlejohn, grandson of Titanic survivor Alexander James Littlejohn, and Commodore Ron Warwick, former master of the QE2.
Both ships will also visit Halifax, Nova Scotia, where guests can go on excursions to the Titanic cemeteries and the maritime museum.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:21+00:00 18 September 2010|Cruise News|2 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Bill Willard 22 September 2010 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great article! Several things to clarify: the trip is a 10 day trip, departing April 9 and returning April 18. On board with us will be Frank Goldsmith, whose father, young Frankie Goldsmith and his grandmother, Emily Goldsmith survived the tragedy while his grandfather did not survive.
    One of our sessions is entitled “Third Class Revelry” where passengers may choose to learn the traditional Irish folk dances as the Irish immigrants would have done. We will have several dramatic presentations while at sea, one by Denise Vanaria, who performs as Mrs. Thomas Andrews and she IS in period dress. It’s hardly a “fashion show” by any means. Another young man will portray Jack Thayer in period dress as well.
    Both of the trips going to the wreck site will honor those who were on board that fateful night. I have great respect for the speakers on both ships, knowing many of them personally. There will be no doubt that showing respect and honor are first on the list for both ships and their passengers.
    Again, thank you for the great article.

  2. tom343 30 March 2011 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Now let’s see. In the early Spring, in an area of the Atlantic ships generally avoid now, an area known for pack ice, bergs and fog, two largish ships are going to rendezvous to honor(?) the sinking of the Titanic. Sounds as if going to Church in Southampton, New York and Halifax might be a more civil memorial.

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