Belfast and the Titanic

2024, International, Northern Ireland

This time we opted for the official ship’s shore excursion to visit Titanic Belfast, an amazing museum located at the Harlan & Wolff shipyards in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The museum which opened in 2012, the centenary of that fated maiden voyage, is an amazing multimedia experience. Prior to arriving at the museum we got a bus ride around this capital city that in the early Twentieth Century epitomized the industrial age, including a visit to City Hall. Our tour guide Susie Millar is the Belfast Titanic Society and author of Two Pennies: A True Story of the Titanic, which tells the story of her family’s connection to the Titanic. Her great-grandfather was one of the few residents of Belfast who lost their lives in the sinking. The museum itself does an incredible job of telling the Titanic story from the Belfast point of view. This is where the great ship was designed, built, and launched. As you make your way through the museum you learn about the economy and the industries thriving in Belfast in the first decade of the 1900’s, the rise of interest in luxury transatlantic vessels, then into a sense of what was involved in the design and building of the ship. You stand beneath a gantry, ride a lift up to the next level, and hitch a ride through the factory. We learned about the great fanfare of her launch in 1911 and the ten months of outfitting her in grand style. We took a virtual tour of the vessel from the engine rooms to the luxurious first class accommodations. Then there was the discussion of the night of April 14th and the early hours of the 15th, of the icebergs and the wireless messages, of the sinking, of the rescuing of survivors, and recovery of those who did not survive as well as the establishment of SOLAS – Safety of Life at Sea – international standards of safety of merchant ships to help assure our safety at sea. It’s always a bit sobering to remember the Titanic as we make our way through the same waters she sailed. We’re finding it fascinating to see the story from so many different angles. Tomorrow we’ll have another opportunity to learn more. Life is an adventure!

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  1. Jim & Sharon Alonso

    Guys, I plan to look up Susie Millar’s book you referenced. Another fascinating book I bought in Liverpool last Fall was “And The Band Played On”. A true story by the grandson of a violin player who went down with the Titanic. A great read!. J & S

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