The Titanic Disaster - 100 years on...

In the days when the concept of leisure cruises was still in its infancy, RMS Titanic was not only built to be one of the largest cruise ships at the time, but also the most luxurious.

It set out on its maiden voyage on 10th April 1912, stopping briefly at Cherbourg, France and then Cobh (formerly Queenstown), Ireland to pick up more passengers, before setting off for its long journey across the Atlantic to New York. Four days days later during the night of 14th April, disaster struck in the form of an iceberg. The ship finally sank in the early hours of the following morning, taking over 1500 lives. New research has revealed the atmospheric conditions that may have caused the disaster.

The approach of the 100th Anniversary of the tragedy revived much interest in the story;  the Titanic Memorial cruise on the MS Balmoral, which attracted 1309 passengers has taken the same route as the Titanic and following a slightly shaky start, is now well on its way. The ship is expected at Halifax next Monday 16th April, to finally complete its journey to New York a few days later, on 19th April. Special memorial services will be held on board this weekend.

Areas associated with the Titanic have also been marking the anniversay in various ways. In Belfast, the dockside where the ship was built by Harland and Wolff, has been redeveloped and rebranded the ‘Titanic Quarter’. The recently opened Titanic Belfast museum, allows visitors to 'experience' life on board and the sinking of the ship. Of course, there are plenty of souvenirs that can also be purchased there too. 

One academic has recently claimed that the disaster has been exploited as a dark tourism attraction, which is disrespectful to the victims. However, the Lord Mayor of Belfast, disagrees, "For too long, Belfast's part in the Titanic story, and the role of the people of Belfast in bringing Titanic to life, has been neglected". Here's an interesting article on the issues surrounding the Titanic as a dark tourism atttraction.

A permanent exhibit on the Titanic, containing a vast collection of artifacts from the ship itself,  was opened at the The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia,  in 1998.

Anyone researching the Titanic may be interested in  a 14 day free trial offered by, allowing access to a range of new records of the people who sailed onboard.  There is the official passenger list, which reveals the names, ages and occupations of those who bought the sought-after tickets as well as details of paid staff.