On this date exactly a century ago, RMS Titanic took to her maiden voyage before hitting the iceberg in what was termed as one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history.
A century on, many are still fascinated by the costumes, cuisine, music of that era. Apart from serious memorial services, the centenarian observation that has spanned the globe, include memorial cruises, movie re-releases, recreating dining experiences and auctioning the remains from the wreckage and the rescue ships.
Memorial cruise: M S Balmoral a British cruise liner that has already set sail is retracing the ship’s (Titanic) voyage, including a visit to the location where it sank. Dubbed as ‘Titanic Memorial Cruise’ the ship has the same number of passengers (1,309) and has planned to rendezvous with the wreckage site on April 15 (the day Titanic sank) before heading to New York. Many criticize the move by the cruise liner stating that the organizers are cashing in on the tragedy. The ship was boarded by family members of those who took to the original Titanic, maritime experts, and historians. However the organizers maintain that it is a memorial cruise to commemorate the loved once. Enthusiasts dressed up in costumes from the Edwardian era. The tickets for this memorial cruise ranged between $ 2800 to $9,520.
Movie re release: Among the many events surrounding the anniversary is the “Titanic 3D” release. The 15 year old movie is re released after the much hyped solo dive into the Atlantic Ocean by director James Cameron at a record 35,576 feet.
The last dinner: The recreation of the last meal on board Titanic is the latest obsession not just in New York but many other places. Of the many dining events, ‘41 ͦ north, 49 ͦ west’ (which are the exact longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates where the Titanic struck the iceberg in 1912) offers a 7 course dinner almost a recreation of the last dinner on board Titanic. To further the experience of being on Titanic, the organizers are selling tickets for an undisclosed location on VIP elite ($ 450 per person) and first class ($ 300 per person) basis.
Auction of the remains: Up for auction in New York is the first message, from the Titanic to the Olympic, which was 550 miles away, which says: Titanic sending out signals of distress … WE HAVE STRUCK AN ICEBERG.” It is expected to bring $25,000-$35,000. Other items include an admission ticket to the launch of the Titanic and a first-class dinner menu for the ocean liner’s first night at sea.
Even though the marketers and organizers have carefully worded their press releases or marketing strategies by stating it as a memorial, these services have not gone down well with many activists and historians. One of the activists in a news documentary in Halifax Nova Scotia (that retains many reminders of the tragedy of the Titanic. From the gravestones of victims, to memorial monuments; preserved fragments of the vessel.) said ‘People love talking about tragedy/disasters’.
What do you think about the services offered in the name of Titanic? How would you commemorate 100 years of sinking of Titanic?
Video courtesy youtube.com. Sourced from ITN news