What an astonishing ship the Titanic was. Maybe it’s just me, but when I look at pictures of her, I see craftsmen who believed that their work meant something, passengers who’s hearts were full of adventure as they boarded her and a society that was amazing itself every day with more and more innovation and technology. She speaks of our world in a time that we will never know.
And then there is her story: her great breaking and falling down into the depths, into the dark. It’s easy to imagine that those walls of steel might actually have felt pain as they broke apart and became lost to the world. And her passengers – the ones we know of and the ones we do not. What must it have been like, standing on the deck of a boat you had been told was unsinkable as it slowly dawned on you that the opposite was true. What must it have felt like as you peered out across a barren sea on a moonless night?
For people who are interested in the great ship itself or the story of it and its passengers there are an amazing number of tourist attractions and memorials around the world. While you might not be able to afford the submarine ride down to the Titanic’s final resting place, you can still see artifacts from the ship, visit the graves of those who were lost or even see the shipyard where she was built.
The Birthplace of the Titanic: Belfast, Ireland
Belfast is a great place to visit for people who are interested in the building and construction of the Titanic. The Titanic was built in Belfast by shipbuilders Harland and Wolff, Belfast’s biggest employer at the time. The Titanic was designed to be the largest ship to ever take to the seas (imagine that, these ship builders were creating what was to be the largest moving object on earth) and more than 3000 men were employed to build her over the period of 3 years.
Titanic Attractions & Activities in Belfast
- Visit the world’s largest Titanic experience at the Titanic Belfast Museum. Housed in a beautiful modern building, the Titanic Belfast allows you to relive the entire Titanic story from her birth to her discovery on the seabed.
- Tour the original dock and pump house of the Harland and Wolff shipyards. Visitors can see the dry dock where she spent her final days in Belfast, touch and see tools used by workers and see the original pumps used to empty the dock.
- Walk along the slipway where Titanic first touched water.
- Visit the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. The museum currently has a living history experience of the Titanic where you can talk to shopkeepers, businessmen and townspeople about the Titanic. It has over 500 original artifacts on exhibit including objects recovered from the Atlantic. You can also see the trains and trams that shipyard workers traveled on every day. To get to the Harland and Wolff Shipyard.
- Take a luxury tour of Belfast conducted by the great granddaughter of Titanic engineer, Thomas Millar. Currently her tour is the only way to get access to the SS Nomadic, the last remaining tender that was used to ferry passengers from Cherbourg to the Titanic.
- Have dinner at the Rayanne House. They have a Titanic Tasting Menu featuring nine courses that is a recreation of the last menu served in the first class restaurant on the Titanic.
- Take a Titanic Walking Tour and get special access to the Titanic’s drawing offices where she was designed.
- See the Harland & Wolff shipyards and famous Titanic sites around Belfast Harbour by boat.
- Rent a node explorer and go on a self guided walking tour of Titanic sites in Belfast. The Node Explorer features video, still images and audio clips making for a fully interactive experience.
- Visit the Belfast City Hall also known as the stone Titanic. In the building is the Lord Mayor’s Suite (the “Titanic Rooms”) which were built by craftsmen who later worked on the Titanic. On the eastern side of the City Hall is the Titanic Memorial Garden and Monument which includes a plaque bearing the names of those who died when the Titanic sank.
Titanic Attractions & Activities in Southampton, England
- Take a guided walk of the Southampton Old Cemetery where many Titanic victims were laid to rest. The cemetery holds 45 memorials for Titanic victims.
- Visit the Titanic memorials around Southampton. These include the Musicians Memorial, the Titanic Engineer Officers Memorial, the Titanic Postal Workers Memorial and the memorial at Holy Rood Church for the crew, stewards and firemen.
- Visit Southampton’s SeaCity Museum. At the Titanic Story exhibition, visitors can experience sights and sounds of Southampton in 1912, view a pocket watch found on the body of a steward showing the exact time it stopped and learn about Southampton’s relationship to the disaster.
- See where 26 members of the crew once lived by visiting the Salvation Army Hostel on Oxford Street, once the Sailors Home.
- Visit the Grapes Public House to see memorabilia from the Titanic and drink in the same pub that crew members of the Titanic once drank. Local legend says that a number of crew members stayed at the Public House too long on the morning of the ship’s departure and were refused entry to the ship. The Grapes was also used as a backdrop in the film Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett.
- View Berth 44 from afar. The White Star Dock, now the Ocean Dock, was where the Titanic was housed. From Dock Gate 4, you can see Berth 44, where Titanic sailed away from, but can’t go any nearer as it is still a working port.
Titanic Ports of Call: Cherbourg, France and Cobh (Queenstown), Ireland
Titanic visited two Ports of Call on her maiden voyage. The first port was Cherbourg, France where 281 people were ferried to the Titanic including John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest passenger on board and “the unsinkable” Molly Brown. The second port was Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland where 132 passengers boarded.
Titanic Attractions & Activities in Cherbourg, France
- Visit Cherbourg’s maritime museum’s Titanic exhibit which is dedicated to the ship and emigration. This video gives a good idea of the interactive and exploratory nature of the exhibit.
Titanic Attractions & Activities in Cobh, Ireland
- Go on the Titanic Experience, a permanent visitor attraction in Cobh that is situated in the original offices of The White Star Line and also marks the departure point for the passengers that boarded the Titanic. The Titanic Experience uses cinematic shows, scene sets, holographic imagery and touch screen technology to bring the Queenstown Titanic passengers experiences to life.
- Visit St. Colman’s Cathedral where a requiem mass was help for the victims on April 22nd, 1912.
- See what everyday life was like in Cobh (then Queenstown) in 1912 at the Cobh Museum.
- Take a guided walking tour, the Titanic Trail, led by Cork historian Michael Martin.
The Loss of the Titanic: Nova Scotia & Newfoundland
The closest point on land to the site of the Titanic wreck was in Newfoundland and it was there that the first SOS was heard. Nova Scotia also has an important connection to the Titanic. For many of the victims of the sinking, Nova Scotia was to be their final resting place. Residents came together and dealt with the aftermath of the sinking, even pooling their savings to buy a tombstone for an unidentified child. Nova Scotia & Newfoundland are great places to visit for those looking to explore the aftermath of the loss of the Titanic.
Titanic Attractions & Activities in Nova Scotia
- Visit the Maritime Museum to see artifacts from the sunken ship, the most poignant of which is a pair of child’s shoes. The Museum has a permanent exhibit that includes information about the connection between Halifax and the Titanic and is home to the largest collection of wooden Titanic artifacts in the world.
- See a model of what the Titanic looks like on the ocean floor at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. While there you can also view a room of photographs taken from the submersible that visited in 1991.
- Visit one of the 3 cemeteries where 150 of the victims were buried. The cemeteries are Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Mount Olivet Cemetery, and Baron de Hirsch Cemetery.
- Visit the Nova Scotia Archives to learn more about the Titanic. Holdings include Titanic related photographs, newspapers, news magazines and records that document the recovery, identification and disposition of several victims.
- Take an insightful self guided tour of Titanic sites in Halifax.
Titanic Attractions & Activities in New Foundland
- Stay at the Ryan Mansion in St. John’s Newfoundland. The mansion has a grand staircase that was built in the same style and by the same craftsmen who fitted the grand staircase on the Titanic. Guests can eat a 6 course dinner based on the actual menu served during the last meal on the Titanic. The meal is served on beautiful reproductions of the china from the 1st class dining saloon.
- Visit the Myrick Wireless Interpretation Center. Cape Race Newfoundland is the closest point of land to the Titanic’s resting place. The wireless station there was the first land station to answer the distress call from the ill fated ship. Today you can visit a replica of the original station in Cape Race.
She Never Reached New York: New York City, NY
The Titanic never made it to New York, but there are still Titanic related attractions in the city that never got to meet this great ship.
Titanic Attractions & Activities in the New York City Area
- You can visit the pier that was supposed to be Titanic’s (Pier 59) just make sure to watch out for flying golf balls as it is now a driving range at the Chelsea Pier Sports Complex. 675 rescued passengers did arrive at the piers in the Carpathia 4 days after their scheduled arrival and were dropped off at Pier 54. Pier 54 still exists and if you look at it’s central beam you can see lettering from both Cunard and White Star.
- See the Titanic Memorial, a 60 foot tall lighthouse that was built to remember those who died on the Titanic. It was moved from it’s original location and now stands at the corner of Fulton and Pearl Street.
- Visit Straus Park in Morningside Heights to see a statue made in memory of Ida and Isidor Straus. Ida would not leave her husband Isidor, co-owner of the Macy’s department store, preferring to stay with him rather than save herself. You can also view the Straus’ house by walking one block south of the memorial to 2747 Broadway.
- See where surviving members of Titanic’s crew stayed after docking in New York by visiting the former site of the American Seamen’s Friend Society Sailors’ Home and Institute. Its lighthouse inspired turret has been removed, but there are still some nautical architectural elements on the outside of the hotel. Today it is the home of the Jane hotel (and a mighty cheap place to stay in NYC). A memorial service was also conducted here with 125 crew members the day after the survivors arrival.
- Visit the former headquarters of the White Star line at No. 9 Broadway. It is now a radio shack. In the days after the sinking people came by the thousands for word of survivors, including Mrs. Guggenheim who was looking for news about her husband.
- Take a walk by Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, a tiny building compared to the skyscrapers that surround it, where many of the surviving women from steerage were housed.
- Visit cemeteries around New York City where Titanic victims and survivors are buried. Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn has nine graves, Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx has 12 graves including the tomb of Isidor and Ida Staus.
The Entire World was Touched: Attractions in other cities
- Visit the final resting place of the titanic. Two rare dive expeditions will take place this year and if you have the $60,000 to go one of the submarines please send me pictures!
- Although they may sound like unlikely places, you can visit a two story museum dedicated to the Titanic in Branson, MO and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. You go on a self-guided tour where you receive a boarding pass with an actual Titanic passenger name on it, stand on an exact replica Grand Staircase, touch an iceberg, shovel coal, learn how to send a distress message and experience the sloping decks of the ship’s stern as she descended. At the end you discover your passenger’s fate in the memorial room.
- Relive the disaster in an interactive dinner theater experience in Victoria Australia. “Passengers” eat in recreated Titanic dining rooms and there is a formal dress code in first class.
- Take in the natural beauty of Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO where three monoliths “Ship Rock”, “iceberg Rock”, and “Sinking Titanic Rock” were named in honor of the tragic sinking.
- Step back in time by visiting the Titanic – 12,450 Feet below exhibit at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT. This exhibit is about the loss of the Titanic, but also about the discovery of it’s remains.
- Visit the Titanic Museum in Indian Orchard, MA. The museum is home of the world famous Titanic Historical Society Collection which contains rare artifacts many of which were donated by the survivors themselves. Some of the most noteable treasures are Mrs. Astor’s lifejacket, a pocket watch from 1st class passenger Milton Long and a rivet punching from Titanic’s hull.
- Learn all about survivor Molly Brown at the Molly Brown House Museum in Denver CO. The museum is currently offering Titanic tours by reservation to help you explore Molly’s experience on the Titanic and beyond.
- Visit the Titanic Artifact Exhibition in Las Vegas and see more than 300 artifacts and replicas from the ship. The exhibit has 20 never before seen artifacts including gaming chips and passenger papers.
- Take the maiden voyage on the Titanic II. It doesn’t exist yet, but an Australian billionaire is planning to build a high tech replica of the Titanic and the maiden voyage is slated for 2016.
- Explore 10 full scale room recreations and over 400 historic treasures and memorabilia related to the Titanic at Titanic the Experience in Orlando Fl.
- Visit the Titanic Memorial in Washington DC that was erected in honor of the men who gave up their lives to save women and children on the Titanic.
- Take a trip to the South Australian Maritime Museum and explore mementos and keepsakes from surviving crew members telling the stories of South Australians on board.
- Visit St. Patrick’s Church in Addergoole Ireland to see a beautiful Titanic inspired stained glass window based on the recollections of survivor Annie Kate Kelly.
- Visit the Titanic Bandsmen’s Memorial in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Austrailia erected in 1913 in memory of “the Heroic Bandsmen of the Steamship Titanic Who Played to the End”.
- Visit the memorial to Captain Smith in Lichfield, UK. The statue of Captain Smith was unveiled by the Captain’s daughter in 1914.
- Spend a Titanic themed weekend at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. This annual event usually takes place in the beginning of May. The hotel is transformed into a the doomed ship for the weekend and hotel guests take on the roles of actual Titanic Passengers.