People around Ireland, and the world, are getting ready to mark the centenary of the legendary passenger liner, the RMS Titanic. If you would like to be part of to the commemoration events taking place, then anchor yourself in Cobh County Cork, then Queenstown, the Titanic’s last port of call where 123 passengers boarded the magnificent vessel.
Cobh will play host to a memorable series of events from 9th to 15th April to remember the Titanic and the people associated with her.
The events series, organized by Titanic100 Cobh 2012, has something for everyone from concerts to cruise liners, a vintage car show, a Titanic art display, lectures, exhibitions and museums, music recitals, a search and rescue display, a ten-mile road race, gala dinners, a remembrance service and a range of water activities and on-street entertainment for all throughout the week. The events will appeal to history buffs, culture vultures, adventure seekers, concert enthusiasts, food lovers, and families.
During the days of this centenary week, like any other week of any other year, visitors and locals alike can mingle around the many shops, restaurants and pubs in this idyllic and unique sea-side town. For this special week, Cobh will also be home to stalls and markets set up in designated areas where visitors can relax and enjoy many styles of food and other things on offer.
See www.titanic100.ie for a full list of events, but for now here are some of the programme highlights.
Remember the Titanic in a National Tribute with the Navy
The main event in Cobh will take place exactly 100 years from when the Titanic arrived in Cork Harbour and the last of the Titanic’s passengers and supplies left Cobh on board the mighty vessel.
This National tribute will conclude with a Fleet review with the Irish Navy. Prominent dignitaries’ including The President, will be invited to attend this once in a life time occasion and respects will be shown to all those who lost their lives as a result of the tragedy.
Give a Maritime welcome to cruise liners retracing the Titanic’s journey
One of the most talked about cruises of the year, The Balmoral, is retracing the steps of the RMS Titanic’s journey, passing by Cherbourg on the coast of France before docking in ‘Queenstown’ Cobh on 9 April. The town will joyfully welcome the liner and her 1,309 passengers - the same number that sailed on the fateful voyage - who include descendants of Titanic passengers and Titanic enthusiasts. Entertainment for all will be provided on the Cobh quayside.
The MV Marco Polo will also arrive into Cobh on her special Titanic cruise at 4.00pm on the April 12 and will depart at 5.00pm on the April 13. A warm welcome and open air entertainment will be provided during its stay.
View paintings inspired by the last Titanic survivor
From the 8th of April, artist Bonny Cummins will display her unique paintings that depict the Titanic in Queenstown at the Commodore Hotel in Cobh. Bonny took her inspiration from Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the Titanic, whom she had a close relationship with, and many of the works were co-signed by Millvina, who had a passion for Cobh. Also featured is a painting inspired by the story of Patrick Kidney, Postmaster at Queenstown, and the last man to leave Titanic April 11 1912 in his official capacity.
Navigate your way to the Titanic outdoor gala concerts
Limited tickets are now available to ‘An Irish Connection’, a series of evening outdoor gala concerts with well-known musicians and performers that will tell the story of emigration and The Titanic’s connection with Ireland in a truly engaging way through music and dance. The lineup of international artists will include Cara O'Sullivan, Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction) Catriona Fallon and Paul Byrom.
The concerts, which are suitable for all ages will take place on the waterfront promenade in Cobh, the historic site where the last passengers boarded the Titanic before it set sail on its maiden voyage 100 years ago. The concerts begin on the April 11, the day the Titanic departed Cobh, and finish on April 14th, the night when the Titanic hit the iceberg. Tickets can be purchased from www.tickets.ie for €20 (excluding booking fee), as well as the Titanic Information Centre in Cobh. Restricted viewing standing areas on the street adjacent to the concert are also available at no charge.
Row in for the Titanic Rowing Challenge
Make sure you row in on time to see the Rushbrooke Rowing Club & friends taking part in an 82 hour rowing challenge from April 11 -14 in the town centre. The event takes place on rowing machines, non-stop, day and night over 4 days, to retrace the journey time that it took before the Titanic struck the iceberg.
Enjoy a 1st class Titanic meal
Gilberts Restaurant in Cobh will be hosting a number of special Titanic dinner evenings, with a replica of the 1st class menu available during Titanic's maiden voyage, from April 10-12. Tables for these evenings must be booked in advance and there are very few left due to phenomenal demand. The Titanic Dinner evening will continue through April and May, subject to booking.
Gilbert's Restaurant is also holding a special Titanic lunch from April 13-14, again replicating the cuisine available on board during The Titanic’s maiden voyage.
Pull your heart strings at Titanic’s Last Waltz recital
Flemish ensemble Grupetto will bring an authentic and historically truthful reconstruction of the music played during the last night aboard the Titanic at 12 noon on April 12 at the Sirius Arts Centre at the Old Yacht Club in Cobh. Admission is Free.
Visit the Museums & Heritage Centres of Cobh
The Cobh Museum, which reflects the cultural, social and maritime history of Cobh will host a Titanic Related Exhibition – Reflections and Reactions, The Titanic Trail, with a number of tours including the daily Titanic walking tour.
The Cobh Heritage Centre is a must for any interested in stories of emigration, and it includes a wonderful Titanic exhibition.
Titanic Experience Cobh, situated in the original offices of the White Star Line, is the newest addition. An interactive visitor attraction, the Experience tells the story of Titanic through the eyes of the 123 passengers who boarded from Cobh, then Queenstown.
Finally make sure you visit the Sirius Arts Centre where you can enjoy exhibitions, concerts and community engagement programmes.
Trace your Titanic ancestors
The Irish Ancestry research Centre (IARC) will hold a workshop in the ommodore Hotel at 12pm on 11th April, suitable for anyone with a keen interest in their family history. IARC will show you how to trace your ancestors on The Titanic, using passenger lists in conjunction with other available sources.
Dive into history at The Titanic Exhibition
Dr. Alicia St Leger will contextualise an exhibition, Destination America: Leaving Home, Emigration from Cobh/ Queenstown at 12 noon on April 13 at the Sirius Arts Centre at the Old Yacht Club in Cobh. St. Leger will give an overview of the history of emigration.
Later on in the month, a two-day series of lectures investigating many aspects of the Titanic story will also be organised by the University College Cork, with lectures by many well-known authors and lecturers including Professor John Wilson Foster from April 20-21.
Watch the maiden voyage of the Vintage Car Show
If you are interested in seeing the Vintage Cars of the period of the Titanic, they will be gracing the streets of Cobh on April. The special veteran Vintage and Classic Car Run & Show will commemorate the tragedy of the sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic on her maiden voyage with a 20-mile road trip, starting at the Commodore hotel in Cobh, with a pit stop in Fota, lunch in Midleton and a free tour of the Jameson Distillery.
Salute the National Search and Rescue Display
A Search and Rescue extravaganza display by the Irish Coast Guard at the historic Titanic site in Cobh, Co. Cork, will be held on April 14 starting in the afternoon and is a must see for the entire family. Utilising many disciplines, you will get the chance to see the many techniques used during search and rescue operations.
Navigate your way through the Great Island 10 mile Road Race
This year's Great Island 10 mile Road Race will take place at the Titanic’s last port of call to coincide with the commemoration events on April 15 at 10.30am, for the benefit of the Irish Cancer Society. The route will take in some of the most beautiful scenery that the Great Island of Cobh and Cork Harbour has to offer. A 5km walk will also take place on the same day for those less inclined to run but want to show their support.
Pay tribute at a Titanic Remembrance Service
An ecumenical church service to mark the century of the Titanic tragedy will be given in St. Colman's Cathedral, Cobh, at 2.00pm on April 15. This will be followed by a wreath-laying and closing ecumenical service in the centre of Cobh town at 3:30pm.
See www.titanic100.ie for a full list of events.