Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Retracing Titanic Cruise

Titanic Memorial Cruise
April 08, 2012

The MS Balmoral set sail Sunday from Southampton, England, loaded with 1,039 passengers, the same as the ill-fated RMS Titanic. Relatives of those who lost their lives, relatives of survivors, historians and journalists were among the passengers on this memorial cruise. Miles Morgan Travel offered two cruises, Anniversary Cruise from New York, and this one, Memorial Cruise from Southampton.

The two cruises were marketed with the slogan "Be part of a once in a life time historical event". The Memorial Cruise planned to sail past France and stop in Cobh, Ireland, before continuing it's Atlantic crossing. The captain planned to reach the Titanic's wreck site in the North Atlantic for a memorial ceremony to mark the moment the liner struck an iceberg on April 14, 100 years ago, where a memorial event will take place.

Doomed by Bad Luck?

The Memorial Cruise has had two delays thus far, and there is a feeling that it might be doomed by bad luck.  The first delay was caused by gales and 30ft waves just hours into its voyage as it crossed the Irish Sea after leaving Southampton on Sunday. After stopping in Cobh, Ireland, the MS Balmoral was heading out into the Atlantic when it had to change course back towards Ireland after BBC cameraman Timothy Rex fell 'seriously ill'. He was experiencing chest pains and it was thought he might have suffered a heart attack. Mr Rex, 56, was airlifted by coastguard to hospital when the ship reached the helicopter's range – 130 miles from land.

Passengers in Period Costumes     Courtesy AP
Reliving History

The Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and sank the following morning, claiming the lives of 1,517 passengers and crew.

During this historic voyage, passengers will gather for a memorial ceremony at 11.40 PM, the time the ship hit the iceberg, and again at 2.20 AM the following morning to mark the moment it sank. After visiting the wreck site, it will go to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where some of the Titanic's victims are buried, and then on to New York, the intended destination of RMS Titanic.

The Balmoral is operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, whose parent company, Harland and Wolff, built the Titanic in Belfast.

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