Cruise recreating Titanic's fated voyage sells out
Right now, near Prypiat, Ukraine, chances are a group of nervous tourists are navigating the site of history’s most damning nuclear disaster.
It’s called “extreme tourism,” and people love this stuff. They consume tragedy as their own way of tribute to the dead, but also, I imagine, in part for the same macabre reasons serial killer memorabilia has become a real thing.
In any case, extreme tourists – or simply history buffs, however you want to label things – will have another chance to tempt fate next April. That's when they’re recreating the Titanic.
Yes, the hottest thing in tourism right now is a ticket to hop onboard a ship in England next spring that will sail the doomed path the Titanic did 100 years ago.
The cruise line Fred Olsen, a British company, will send a vessel named Balmoral on the fated voyage in April, when it will depart Southampton, England, a century after the RMS Titanic first sailed.
From the U.K., the Balmoral will sail for five days to the coordinates off the coast of Nova Scotia where the Titanic struck an iceberg just before midnight of its fifth day, sinking early in the morning of its sixth. At 2:20 a.m., a memorial service will be held on board the Balmoral; passengers will arrive at Halifax the next day to visit Fairview Lawn Cemetery, where Titanic’s victims were interred.
On day eight of Balmoral’s voyage, it will arrive in New York, where 2,223 people were to safely dock in April, 1912.
Miles Morgan, the man behind Titanic Memorial Cruises, doesn’t want to hear controversy: “I take my lead from those people who are coming on board who lost relatives in the disaster or whose family members survived,” he told the Independent when asked it the voyage could be considered voyeuristic. “They have all said that they could not think of any better way to mark the memory of those who were lost than being at the site of the sinking to pay their respects.”
Still, the real story is how popular the Titanic homage trip has become. Tickets, which cost as much as $9,500, sold out so feverishly that even the waiting list for cancellations has been closed. There are too many people on it already.
And this Titanic tribute thing might have legs. Not only are some boarding the Balmoral having costumes made to recreate what the original passengers wore, but a Russian-built submarine is planning voyages next summer to visit the sunken ship’s wreckage.
Cost to board the Russian sub? About $59,000 per person.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money