Not since James Cameron brought the Titanic back to life to moviegoers across the nation in 1998 have expectations been so prevalent as they are for Titanic lovers in 2011.
Leading up to April 15, 2012, when it will have been 100 years since the RMS Titanic was lost, Titanic Museum Attractions in Pigeon Forge, Tn, as well as Branson, Mo., will honor the 2,208 passengers and crew members with an ongoing series of special events, activities and ceremonies.
One of those events includes a tribute/contest involving the birthplace of the RMS Titanic in Ireland. In all, six 11-day trips for two to Belfast, Ireland (where Titanic was constructed) will be given away at the Pigeon Forge and Branson Titanic attractions. Officially titled the “Back to Titanic 100th Year ‘Tour
Ireland’ Sweepstakes” the contest starts June 13, 2011 and contestants can enter daily online at TitanicAttraction.com. Winners will be announced Feb. 14, 2012.
Meanwhile, the Titanic museum itself will offer glimpses into the luxury liner’s past in a one-of-a-kind way by letting guests walk what the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase of the Titanic would have been like in its day. These confines also showcase some 400 artifacts pulled directly from the ship and its remains on the ocean floor. Visitors can also touch a real iceberg, put their hands in actual 28-degree water, and try to balance themselves on the sloping decks as they would have been when the ship was sinking.
During 2011 and 2012, Titanic remembrance events are scheduled around the world, Titanic Museum Attractions will be the epicenter of remembrance for passengers and crew. The Titanic Museum Attractions will honor and respect those brave souls who perished in the wreckage with the following events:
• In July, Titanic Museum Attractions will allow every single guest who visits the museum to personally deposit a single rose petal into a container in the Memorial Gallery. On April 15, 2012 – exactly 100 years after the RMS Titanic was lost – each of the rose petals will be carefully laid onto the surface of the Atlantic Ocean directly where the Titanic sank.
• Beginning Aug. 1, 2011, future brides and grooms can enter to win their own “Royal Wedding” in April 2012. Titanic Museum Attractions will pay homage to the 12 honeymooning couples on board the RMS Titanic with its “Royal Wedding” contest. Online voting will select a winning couple to be married on the Titanic Attraction’s $1 million Grand Staircase.
• Many descendants of Titanic passengers and crew members will make appearances at Titanic Museum Attractions throughout 2011 and 2012, including descendants of Second Officer Charles Lightoller, the most senior crew member to survive the Titanic. Lightoller, whose family now lives in Ireland and Scotland, fled the sinking ship in a collapsible life raft and was one of only four officers to survive.
• April’s re-release of James Cameron’s “Titanic” movie in 3D will mark the opening of a new gallery (at both the Pigeon Forge and Branson locations) featuring props and costumes on loan from collectors.
• On April 14 and 15, 2012, the Pigeon Forge and Branson locations will each hold a two-day remembrance event. Both will culminate with a candlelight service and the lighting of an eternal flame which will burn all year in honor of the 2,208 who perished onboard the RMS Titanic.
Throughout the year Titanic Museum Attractions provide a gateway to 1912, where crew members bring the stories of the fabled ship and its fascinating passengers to life in vivid, dramatic detail. The over 400 priceless artifacts displayed throughout the museum shed additional light on the lives of those passengers and crew members onboard the Titanic’s maiden voyage… A collection valued at over four $4.5 million.
The 2,208 people who died in the wreckage are listed on the walls in the Titanic Memorial Room. Guests can match their boarding pass, which lists a passenger’s name, with the pass-holder’s fate there.
And you definitely will not want to miss the Grand Staircase. Constructed from the original Harland & Wolff plans with its oak carvings and cherub statue, the Grand Staircase is a work of art in its own right. Its oak wall paneling and elaborate railings and iron scroll work come alive in the light. Listen carefully to hear what the floor was made of – something considered most expensive for 1912.
A few of the activities guests can enjoy while touring the museum include:
– Simulating loading coal into a burning furnace. Get into an actual size lifeboat. Sending an SOS signal, and tying rope knots.
– Steering a ship.
– For young guests eight and under, there is a special section (Tot-Titanic) devoted to them with various interactive games and stations.
– Stand on the Titanic’s bridge and hear the Captain’s commands.
– Stand on the deck of the ship’s stern and experience the different precise angles of the ship as it gradually descended into the water over a span of 2 hours and 40 minutes.