Buoyant interest to be stoked as world set for year of Titanic reminiscence

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A SERIES of events will take place next year to mark the centenary of the loss of the Titanic, which remains one of the most famous of the world’s maritime disasters.

Events will include a cruise which retraces the route of the ill-fated voyage and an exhibition to be held in America.

The story continues to capture the imagination of the public because of the tragic circumstances of the loss, on the maiden trans-Atlantic voyage of the vessel, which struck and iceberg and sank with about 1,500 passengers and crew perishing as a result.

One of the elements which made the disaster so shocking was that the Titanic had been considered unsinkable when it was constructed in Belfast.

With Captain Edward Smith in charge, the vessel carried more than 2,200 people, including well over 300 in first-class. The “nobs” included White Star Line managing director Joseph Bruce Ismay and Molly Brown, a Colorado woman whose survival was to provide her with the fame she craved.

Among the children on board was two-month-old Millvina Dean from Southampton who was to live until 2009 to become the last survivor from the sinking.

One of the many Titanic exhibitions in 2012 will open just two days before the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

On April 12, an exhibition complete with interactive touch screens will go on display in the USA.

At the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, visitors will be given the chance to feel what it was like to sail on the Titanic and to see the wreck thousands of feet down in the Atlantic Ocean.

Knowledge gained by marine explorer Dr Robert Ballard and work by Tim Delaney, formerly a Walt Disney image man, are being combined to present the exhibition entitled Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below.

It was Dr Ballard’s expedition that located the Titanic in 1985.

Two cruise liners are expected to meet at the location where the Titanic sank on the anniversary, sailing from each side of the Atlantic.