Ballard back where Titanic was born

//Ballard back where Titanic was born

belfast.jpgThe man who discovered the wreckage of Titanic has paid his first visit to the £97 million Titanic Belfast museum which is to open next year in time for the centenary of the liner’s sinking.
Deep sea explorer Dr Robert Ballard is providing previously unseen artefacts and images to be exhibited at the new visitor attraction being constructed in the Harland & Wolff shipyard where Titanic was built.
ballard.jpgVisiting the yard’s drawing office, Dr Ballard said: “Titanic belongs to Belfast. I’m very pleased that the city which gave Titanic to the world will now be able to welcome the world to Titanic Belfast. Titanic’s story is infused with romance, pathos and glory, and there’s no better place to tell it than Belfast.
“Discovering Titanic was the culmination of 12-years of work and it was the scientific challenge of visiting and filming her which initially drew me to the task. However, finding the Titanic also appealed to me romantically, and the more time I spent studying her story the more I fell under her spell.
“It’s a real thrill to be back in Belfast, standing in the very spot where she was designed, built and fitted out. It’s also a great thrill to see the amazing new Titanic Belfast visitor attraction. It’s a stunning spectacle and I can’t wait to come back for its opening next year.”
Tim Husbands, CEO of Titanic Belfast, said: “We are thrilled that Dr. Ballard is so closely involved with Titanic Belfast. When we open next spring it will be the world’s biggest Titanic attraction; it is fitting, therefore, that the biggest name in modern Titanic folklore will be sharing his unique insight into the vessel with our visitors.
“Dr. Ballard will also be providing live links from his ongoing expeditions to remote, unexplored areas of the seabed at Titanic Belfast’s Ocean Exploration Centre. Apart from being a tremendous education resource, the Centre will be a fascinating and continually updated story that will put Titanic in the wider context of the world’s oceans which are still 95 per cent unexplored.”
Dr Ballard’s expedition discovered pieces of Titanic’s wreckage at 12.48am on the morning of Sunday, September 1st, 1985 in a stretch of the north-west Atlantic known as ‘Titanic Canyon’. After 73 years, the first identifiable part of the ship to be seen again was a boiler lying two and a half miles below the surface.
Titanic Belfast is a six-floor building which will house the world’s biggest Titanic exhibition, featuring nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of the ship, as well as the city and people which made her.
The building will also house temporary exhibits, a 1,000-seat banqueting suite, education and community facilities, catering and retail space and a basement car park. Visitors will learn about the construction of RMS Titanic and the wide and rich story of Northern Ireland’s industrial and maritime heritage.
Supported by the Northern Ireland Executive, Titanic Belfast is a unique public and private partnership funded by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour and Titanic Quarter Ltd. It is operated by Titanic Belfast Ltd and will be owned by the Titanic Foundation Ltd.
Dr. Ballard will be returning to Titanic Belfast on April 14 next year to provide a Memorial Lecture. The attraction opens officially to the public on Saturday March 31, 2012, the anniversary of the laying of Titanic’s keel.
►A pair of keys to the first-class toilets on Titanic’s D-Deck sold for £43,000 at an auction in Wiltshire. One of three surviving deck plans from the 324 handed out to first-class passengers fetched £30,000 in the same sale, at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes.
The deck plan (below) was originally given to Ida and Isidor Straus, the owners of New York department store Macey’s, who were both lost when Titanic sank. It had been kept by their maid, Ellen Bird, who survived, and has been in the hands of a private collector since she died in 1949. A photograph of Mr Straus sold for £17,000.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:59+00:00 1 November 2011|Cruise News|0 Comments

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

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