Watch out for the icebergs… cruise recreating Titanic’s fateful voyage is sold out
For some, it might sound too much like tempting fate - and for others, it smacks of “disaster voyeurism”. But for more than 2,000 Titanic enthusiasts, the chance to mark the centenary of the maritime disaster by sailing on a large cruise ship to commemorate the sinking on the very spot of the tragedy is proving difficult to resist.
A British company has almost sold out two cruises for people to mark the anniversary on 15 April by following the route of the Titanic to where it struck an iceberg. The booming demand for Titanic-related travel has led to another travel company offering the chance to explore the wreckage of the ill-fated vessel in a Russian-built submarine next summer at a cost of $59,000 (£37,000) per person. Places for that voyage are already “very limited”.
The tourism boon is part of a general revival of the fascination with the Belfast-built steamship which will see special festivals take place on both sides of the Atlantic as well as the screening of a 3D version of James Cameron’s Oscar-winning film and a big-budget ITV drama by the Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes.
Such is the interest in places on the MS Balmoral, the vessel retracing the journey of the maiden voyage of the Titanic, that a waiting list for cancellations has closed.
Some of those who have booked berths costing up to £5,995 are having costumes made to recreate the appearance of the original passengers, while there have also been requests from musicians to audition for places on the string quartet that played as the flagship of the White Star Line fleet began to list.
Miles Morgan, managing director of Titanic Memorial Cruises, the Bristol-based company organising the events, said places on the cruise from Southampton had sold out weeks after going on sale, with the second cruise likely to sell out by next month and interest in the commemorative journey remaining intense. He said: “We have been approached by news crews all over the world who want to film our recreation of the fateful voyage. We could probably have filled the entire vessel just with journalists wanting to be there. The interest has come from all over the globe - we’ve had people from 24 different countries booking.