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Friday, July 8, 2011

Memorial voyages to mark the Titanic disaster in the North Atlantic set for April 2012


    (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   (Originally published in newspapers in October 2010)

   She was designed to be the greatest ship that ever sailed - but fate intervened and she never completed her maiden voyage.
   The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 11:37 p.m. on April 15, 1912. She sank in less than three hours with the loss of 1,517 passengers while there were 706 survivors.
This historic photo shows the ill-fated RMS Titanic leaving Southampton, England on her maiden voyage in 1912
  Her eternal resting place is four kilometres beneath the surface and 595 kilometres offshore from Mistaken Point, Newfoundland.

   Bill Willard, a Titanic enthusiast, of Willtiger Corp. has joined with Azamara Club Cruises to offer a "voyage of remembrance and exploration" to mark the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.
   "We'll be at the exact site at the exact time 100 years after the RMS Titanic met its demise to remember those lost and the ship," Willard said.
   The exclusive charter, departing Boston on April 9, 2012, will be a "once-in-a-lifetime experience" aboard Azamara Journey.
   The voyage will also "offer guests a deeper understanding of what Titanic's passengers experienced through a great schedule of enrichment programs and memorials," Willard said.
   The nine-night roundtrip itinerary will place the Journey at the location of the final resting place of Titanic where it will remain for three days.
   The passengers will view live video feeds from a remotely operated underwater vehicle deployed from an expeditionary ship alongside.
   Throughout the cruise, guests will have opportunities to immerse themselves in the history and experience of Titanic.
   There will be moment-by-moment recounting of the night the ship went down and three memorial services honouring the ship and passengers. A lasting memorial will be lowered to the sea floor beside the bow of the ship.
Azamara Journey will be making a "voyage of remembrance and exploration" in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
   Onboard there will be presentations by maritime and fashion researchers, historians, executives from international Titanic societies and survivors' relatives.
   Dinner menus will feature dishes from recipes served aboard Titanic and guests can learn the Irish dance with which the ship's third-class passengers would have celebrated.
   On the return voyage to Boston, Azamara Journey will call at Halifax where guests can visit the three cemeteries where the bodies of many victims of the sinking were taken.
   There will also be tours of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and other memorial sites in the city that played a pivotal role in this event.
   Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, said this is one of the line's "unique voyages coupled with extraordinary service" to help memorialize one of the most well-known maritime events in history.
Azamara Journey
   The 682-guest Journey offers a "European-boutique hotel ambience" with refined service, cuisine and wines from around the world, wellness and vitality programs.
   Inclusive onboard amenities include complimentary boutique wines at lunch and dinner, gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff, complimentary bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and English butler service for suite guests.
   Rates for staterooms are $4,799 to $6,179 US a person while suites are $6,749 to $14,999 (for the Club World Owner's Suite). www.voyages-to-remember.com;1-800-294-5269.

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   Miles Morgan Travel, a British tour company, has sold out its Titanic trans-Atlantic voyage in April 2012.
   The Titanic Memorial Cruise will depart, as the original ship did, on April 8, from Southampton, England, and arrive at the spot where she sank on April 15.
   The company has chartered the 1,350-passenger Balmoral from Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.
   The cruise will also make a call at Cobh, Ireland, as the Titanic, stop in Halifax and sail on to New York City.
   There's a waitlist for anyone trying to book the cruise. www.bortonoverseas.com; 1-800-843-0602.

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Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition with 150 items from the sunken ship is touring around the world.
   Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition has sailed into museums around the world attracting the interest of those wanting to learn more about the legendary vessel.
   The exhibition showcases more than 150 artifacts recovered from the ship.
   Organizers say this has a focus on the legendary ship's "compelling human stories, best told through authentic artifacts and extensive room recreations."
   Visitors receive a replica boarding pass and begin their chronological journey through the life of the Titanic, from her construction to life on board, accommodations and the ill-fated disaster and rescue efforts.

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Jim and Barb Fox can be reached at outtosea50@hotmail.com

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