A sneak peek inside Belfast’s new £90 million Titanic visitor experience

//A sneak peek inside Belfast’s new £90 million Titanic visitor experience

titanic.jpgIf the picture above looks familiar, then you are probably one of the millions who have seen the film Titanic. It shows a re-creation of the ship’s central staircase which is a focal point of the Titanic Belfast exhibition opening at the end of this month.
Almost 80,000 tickets have already been sold for the exhibition, which has been under construction for three years – the same time it took to build the Titanic – and which will open to the public on March 31, days before the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking on its maiden voyage.
Built on the site of the derelict Harland & Wolff shipyard where the liner came into being, the £90 million development contains a series of visitor galleries and a banqueting suite which echoes the ship’s first-class dining room.
Visitors will enter through a gallery depicting life in the boomtown Belfast of the early 1900s, before travelling in six-seater cars through a mock-up of the shipyard which built not only Titanic, but sister vessels Olympic and Britannic.
The third gallery celebrates the liner’s launch, and visitors then move to see the craftsmanship that went into fitting out its public rooms, cabins and engine rooms.
Next comes a celebration of the ship’s departure from Belfast and the excitement surrounding its maiden departure from Southampton, together with a collection of photographs taken by a priest who travelled as far as the Irish port of Queenstown.
In Gallery 6 the temperature falls and the mood changes, as the exhibition seeks to take visitors back to the night of April 14, 1912, when she hit an iceberg and sank in the early hours of the following morning. A wall of 400 life vests leads into the next gallery, with its replica lifeboat, where visitors can examine a database listing details of the passengers and crew.
The final two galleries portray the myths and legends which have developed in film and litereature since the liner’s sinking, and gathers together artefacts and photographs from Dr Robert Ballard’s exploration of the wreckage at the bottom of the Atlantic.
Some may wonder how the city of Belfast, and its people, can still show so much pride in the ship whose name became a by-word for disaster and tragedy. To which the locals have a simple and straightforward answer: “It was all right when it left here.”

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:52+00:00 15 March 2012|Cruise News|1 Comment

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.

One Comment

  1. Cruises from Southampton 15 March 2012 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    I wonder how different this will be to the one that is due to open in Southampton later this year?

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