At noon on Wednesday, April 10, 1912, The RMS Titanic began its maiden voyage to New York from Southampton, England. She would never reach her destination. Instead, she sank in the North Atlantic on April 15 after striking an iceberg. Approximately 1,496 people are believed to have died.
Today, on the 107th anniversary of Titanic’s departure from Southampton, interest in the ship and her passengers and crew remains at an all-time high. Millions have visited Titanic artifact museums, read one or more of the hundreds of related books and articles, or viewed the many movies and documentaries. If you or someone you know has attended a Titanic conference, dinner, or similar event, chances are good it took place during the second or third week of April.
Two of the largest Titanic-related projects have been under construction for some time. In China’s Sichuan province, a full-size replica of the Titanic was begun in 2014. It will be permanently docked on the banks of the Qijang River. The builders claim it will function as a tourist attraction and hotel, with many features of the original ship, including the dining rooms, staterooms, and Grand Staircase.
Another long-awaited endeavor is Titanic II, a remake of the RMS Titanic, set to sail around the world, beginning with a voyage from Dubai, then Southampton to New York, which the first Titanic failed to complete. Financial setbacks have stalled construction, leading many to wonder if it will ever happen. However, millionaire developer Clive Palmer claims that the ship’s targeted launch date is now set for 2022. Titanic II will resemble the original as much as possible, but with modern technology, safety features, and more than enough lifeboats to accommodate all those on board.
An expedition to Titanic’s resting place, roughly two miles below the surface of the Atlantic, is set to take place this year. At $105,129 per person, the sold-out, eight day trip from Oceangate Expeditions will depart from Newfoundland. Once near the site, passengers will board a submersible vessel that will take them down to what remains of the ship. They will collect scientific data and study the ongoing decay of the wreckage.
Photo credits: Wikipedia.org, TitanicUniverse.com, Dailymail.co.uk, Placesyoullsee.com, Oceangate.com.