2012 Titanic Centennial Commemorations - dummies

2012 Titanic Centennial Commemorations

By Stephen J. Spignesi

Part of The Titanic For Dummies Cheat Sheet

April 15, 2012, marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. Lots of cities, people, and companies want to commemorate its loss. Following are ten Titanic commemoration events you can attend.

The Titanic Memorial Cruise on the Balmoral

The Titanic Memorial Cruise on the Balmoral will follow the same route as the Titanic herself. The Balmoral departs Southampton, England, on Sunday, April 8, 2012 (two days before the original departure), sails past Cherbourg in France, and stops in Cobh (a port city on the south coast of Ireland that was called Queenstown when the Titanic stopped there on April 11, 1912). The Balmoral then sails the Atlantic to the site where the Titanic foundered. At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 2012, a hundred years to the minute when the Titanic sank, a memorial service will take place on the Balmoral to honor the lost ship, her passengers, and her crew.

The Balmoral will carry 1,309 passengers, which is the same number of travelers (not crew) that sailed on the Titanic. Aboard the ship, guests can hear lecturers and historians talk about the Titanic. They will enjoy food and drink from the Titanic era and are invited to wear period costumes. Passengers can also mingle with more than 30 relatives of Titanic survivors and victims. The ship will visit Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a stop at three cemeteries where bodies recovered from the Titanic are buried.

For more information about the Titanic Memorial Cruise on the Balmoral, visit the Titanic Memorial Cruise website.

The Titanic Memorial Cruise on the Azamara Journey

The Titanic Memorial Cruise on the Azamara Journey departs from the Titanic’s destination port, New York, instead of its beginning port in Southampton. The ship departs on April 10, 2012 (the exact date 100 years ago that the Titanic departed), and makes its first stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a visit to the cemeteries where Titanic victims are interred. The Azamara Journey then travels to the site of the Titanic’s sinking, where a memorial service for the passengers and crew of the Titanic will be held at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 2012. The ship, which will host lecturers on the Titanic throughout the cruise, returns to New York to conclude the cruise.

For more information about The Titanic Memorial Cruise on the Azamara Journey, visit the Titanic Memorial Cruise website.

The Titanic Mini Cruise from Southampton

The Titanic Mini-Cruise from Southampton is a five-night cruise that leaves Southampton on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. From there, it sails to Liverpool, where the offices of the White Star Line were located. Next, it goes to Belfast, where the Titanic was built, before heading back to Southampton and docking on Sunday, April 8, 2012. Passengers will travel aboard the Balmoral.

For more information about the Titanic Mini-Cruise from Southampton, visit the Titanic Memorial Cruise website.

The Titanic Centennial Memorial Weekend

The Titanic Centennial Memorial is a newly built, black-polished-granite, mausoleum-inspired monument with an illustration of the Titanic etched on its front. This beautiful cenotaph is located at the historic Oak Grove Cemetery in Springfield, Massachusetts. Its unveiling and dedication ceremonies will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2012. The ceremonies are open to the public. The monument was initiated and sponsored by the Titanic Historical Society. The weekend includes seminars, a formal Titanic dinner, programs, and speakers at the nearby Castle of Knights meeting and banquet house in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

The memorial is located near the grave of Titanic first-class passenger Milton Long, who died in the sinking. A photo of the memorial and details about its construction can be found at the Titanic Historical Society website.

Titanic 100

Titanic 100 takes place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in April 2012. The organizers planned this event as a project to increase Canada’s involvement and presence in Titanic history. The organizers say that after Belfast, where the Titanic was built, Halifax is the second-most-important Titanic city in the world because of its historic sites. Halifax boasts three Titanic cemeteries and 24 Titanic sites, including (per the organizers) “recovery locations, the morgues, locales for the 1997 movie, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Titanic scientific exhibit at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.”

Organizers for Titanic 100 have planned these events:

  • A multidimensional conference on the Titanic, covering science, art, economics, and the ocean. It will have a public forum consisting of reflections and new research, as well as presentations and keynote addresses.

  • A festival comprising concerts, community events, and a soundscape.

  • A Marine Art Festival consisting of an art exhibit, performances, and a roving lecture series.

  • An unveiling and dedication ceremony for a Titanic monument on the Halifax waterfront.

  • Concerts in the city.

  • A film festival of Titanic movies 1912–2007, followed by a symposium featuring experts and scholars.

  • Upgrades to the city’s Titanic assets, including refurbishment of three cemeteries, new site panels, new signage, and a Titanic trail.

In addition, an info-packed Titanic 100 website has been created.

Titanic 2012 Cape Race Commemoration

Titanic 2012 Cape Race Commemoration is a symposium and commemoration designed to remember Cape Race, which linked Newfoundland to the Titanic story. The Marconi wireless station at Cape Race, located on the southeastern tip of Newfoundland, was used to relay messages from the Titanic to New York City. The station at Cape Race was the only land-based station that received a distress call from the Titanic.

During this commemoration, visitors can explore Cape Race, learn the story of the area’s Marconi station, listen to guest speakers, taste items made from icebergs, and hear local Titanic tales. The events take place April 14–15, 2012.

For details, visit the Cape Race website.

Titanic-Themed Weekend at Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan is planning a Titanic-themed weekend May 13–15, 2012. Visitors get the following in this weekend package:

  • Lodging

  • Meals

  • An interactive dinner theater event featuring an 5-course dinner identical to the last dinner served to the Titanic’s first-class passengers

  • A screening of James Cameron’s 1997 movie Titanic

  • An Edwardian-era fashion show

  • Titanic seminars

For more information, visit the Grand Hotel’s website.

Titanic Museum Openings in Belfast and Southampton

Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Southampton, England, each built a new museum to commemorate the Titanic’s hundredth anniversary:

  • The Southampton Sea City Museum: This museum, scheduled to open before April 2012, will feature two permanent exhibits about the Titanic story and the city’s role as a major port from which the Titanic set sail. Four out of five crew members aboard the ship hailed from Southampton, and the losses to the city were significant. For more information about the museum, visit the Sea City website.

  • The Titanic Belfast Museum: This museum, which opens in March 2012, will offer an exhibit covering every detail of the Titanic’s building; the exhibit will feature nine interactive galleries. Visit the Titanic Belfast website for more information.

Titanic Museum Attractions’ Trip Giveaways

As part of the company’s centennial events, Titanic Museum Attractions will give away a total of six 11-day trips for two to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Titanic was built. Titanic Museum Attractions will give away three trips at its Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, location and another three at its Branson, Missouri, location. The company is also sponsoring a “Back to Titanic 100th Year ‘Tour Ireland’ Sweepstakes.”

Beginning in July 2011, Titanic Museum Attractions offered the opportunity for guests who visited their museums to participate in a special tribute to the passengers and crew by depositing a rose petal into a container in the Memorial Gallery. On the 100th anniversary of the sinking, April 15, 2012, all the rose petals will be released onto the surface of the North Atlantic where the Titanic sank.

For more information about the Titanic Museum Attractions sweepstakes and giveaways, visit the Titanic Museum Attractions website.

Titanic Weddings

Want to get married in a Titanic-themed ceremony? Hotels and resort sites have created Titanic packages for couples who want to do just that. Here are two such examples:

  • Couples at the Grand Hotel in Michigan can get married on a replica of the Grand Staircase of the Titanic.

  • The Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas offers many wedding packages for couples. A visit to the Titanic Artifact Exhibition on site can be included during the stay.