One hundred years ago, the sinking of the RMS Titanic cruise ship was an unimaginable tragedy. Today, it's fodder for a multitude of tourism opportunities for a new generation keen on reliving the fateful day of April, 14, 1912 when the world's largest, most advanced ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Built between 1909 and 1911 by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, the Titanic carried 2,224 people before she sank to the bottom of the ocean. The tragedy remains the world's deadliest peacetime maritime disaster with 1,514 casualties.For more and what may be happening near you this week, plus many more pictures, go HERE.
In honor of the 100-year anniversary of the doomed liner, several locations on both sides of the Atlantic will stage major events, open new galleries, and provide tours to please those struck with Titanic fever.
It's mindboggling how many places in the world claim to have the most extensive collection of Titanic artifacts. In fact, it's a wonder there are enough artifacts in existence for the plethora of museums capitalizing on the hype this year.
"The largest Titanic experience in the world" opened on Saturday in Belfast's Titanic Quarter on the original site of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, birthplace of the RMS Titanic. The $155 million Titanic Belfast is one of a number of signature projects designed to drum up tourism interest in Northern Ireland, an area better known for decades of regional violence. Shaped like the vessel's hull, the six-floors house nine galleries that tell the story of the doomed steamship and of Belfast in the early 1900s. It boasts an interactive ride and never before seen film footage of the wreck in its final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic. The museum hopes to draw 125,000 visitors a year from outside the British Isles.
Around the corner at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, the TITANICa exhibit displays 500 original artifacts including objects recovered from the seabed. Meanwhile local pubs have capitalized on the 100th anniversary with Titanic beer, Titanic whiskey, and Titanic potato chips.
Titanic fever comes to a head in Belfast with what's being billed as the world's largest lighting show and an MTV concert with a coterie of global stars on April 13.
And so it goes.