A memorial to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the luxury liner Titanic will occur in April 2012 at the same spot where the liner sank on its maiden voyage. The memorial will involve the Balmoral liner, sailing from Southampton, and the Azamara Journey liner, sailing from New York, meeting at the spot in the Atlantic Ocean where the Titanic struck an iceberg.
The Daily Mail reports that through a twelve night cruise, the Balmoral will retrace the Titanic’s maiden and only voyage, setting sail from Southampton, stopping in Cobh in Ireland, and then continuing onward to the spot where the Titanic sank off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada. Modern engineering ensures that the Balmoral will not be affected by the possibility of icebergs.
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Deviating from the Titanic’s original sailing route, the Balmoral will also stop in Halifax, allowing passengers to attend a memorial service for those lost in 1912 as well. Many of the rescue attempts for the Titanic in 1912 were launched from Halifax.
On April 14, 2012, the two ships will meet at 11:40pm for the memorial of 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage. The memorial will honor the 1,517 people who lost their lives that night.
Both liners in the memorial will offer 1912-inspired food, and many of the passengers on board are encouraged to don period clothing. The Evening Herald reports that so far, people from more than 20 countries have booked their place on board the Balmoral.
Some believe that the memorial is a form of “disaster voyeurism,” but Miles Morgan, director of Titanic Memorial Cruises, said “I take my lead from those people who are coming on board who lost relatives in the disaster or whose family members survived. They have all said that they could not think of any better way to mark the memory of those who were lost than being at the site of the sinking to pay their respects.”