In­stant ex­pert: RMS Ti­tanic

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Contents - Please say it’s not an­other film.

Tours of the fa­bled ocean liner have been re­launched, more than 100 years af­ter it sank

Ti­tanic?

No, thank Dicaprio! This is about the ac­tual ves­sel, the ul­ti­mate in pre-first World War travel, which – de­spite be­ing hyped as ‘The Un­sink­able Ship’ – met a tragic end in the icy At­lantic wa­ters on its maiden voy­age in 1912. Since then, its sole trip has passed into leg­end. But now you can visit the real thing, with newly re­launched tours of the wreck­age.

But isn’t it at the bot­tom of the ocean?

It is in­deed. Tour com­pany Blue Mar­ble Pri­vate is tak­ing peo­ple around 4km be­low the At­lantic’s sur­face to ex­plore the Ti­tanic wreck from July. Its week-long tours from New­found­land, Canada, in­clude hop­ping in a sub­mersible for six-hour dives of the ship’s re­mains, in­clud­ing the bow, pro­pel­lers and the cav­ern where the iconic grand stair­case was once lo­cated. It will come at a price though – a wal­let-scream­ing US$105,129 (£74,377). Of course, Ti­tanic tourism dives aren’t new – Deep Ocean Ex­pe­di­tions ran them un­til 2012 – but time is of the essence, with ex­perts pre­dict­ing it will dis­in­te­grate com­pletely within 20 years.

Wow. That is aw­fully pricey, though...

Ac­tu­ally, it’s the cost of a first-class ticket on the orig­i­nal Ti­tanic, ad­justed for in­fla­tion.

Ok… so is there a steer­age equiv­a­lent?

No, but in China’s Sichuan prov­ince work is un­der­way to build a life-sized replica of the lux­ury liner. Re­as­sur­ingly, it’s more than 1,200km from the sea, so at least it won’t sink. It isn’t sched­uled to be com­pleted un­til 2019, but will fea­ture lav­ish im­i­ta­tions of the ball­room, theatre, pool and rooms.

But I want to see the orig­i­nal!

Well, for some­thing cheaper (and closer to home), Ti­tanic Belfast is a fine mu­seum in the North­ern Ire­land cap­i­tal – where the ship was built – de­voted to ex­plor­ing its story and myths. How­ever, for those with deeeeep pock­ets, the real thing is only a sub­mersible away. In 1912, RMS Ti­tanic was the pin­na­cle of lux­ury ocean travel. More than 100 years later, you could say it still is.

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