Dear Steemit friends, welcome to part two of my blog on Titanic, Belfast. In the first part, I delved into the life of the SS Nomadic, one of Titanic's tender boats. In this blog, I will explore the incredible Titanic exhibition in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Titanic has to be one of the most recognizable names in history. Partly due to its tragic end and also the 1997 Hollywood blockbuster that made it a household name. The Titanic was the largest, most luxurious ship of its time. I was 7 years old when I watched the Titanic at the cinema and this was when my love affair with ships began. You can read the first part to this blog by clicking the link below:
To Find Me, Look For My Chihuahua's Face
The Titanic building is located a short walk away from the SS Nomadic. The location of the building is exactly where the Titanic was built all those years ago. This in itself makes for an emotional visit. My family have a long history in the Royal Navy and I work on Cruise ships. So, for me, everything about this exhibition hits close to home. Even if you aren't as fascinated about ships as I am, this exhibition is one of the best historical experiences and is highly educational. The building's design is meant to resemble the bow of the Titanic. The building looks over the Belfast docks as the Titanic once did.
The interior of the building is very well designed. It is 100% wheelchair accessible which was great for my younger brother Scott. There is a store, high tea restaurant and of course the main exhibition. The exhibition is highly interactive and even features an internal cable car ride. The exhibition is one of the best I have ever gotten the privilege to experience. It takes you on a journey from the humble beginnings in the Belfast ship yard to the tragic end.
It is no secret that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have had a long, violent history of conflict. One of the very few times that conflict ceased was when the Titanic was being constructed. The mammoth ship required a lot of workers and evidently those workers were a mix of Irish and British. During the construction, all violence ceased and it seamed a common goal was achieved.
The Experience Begins......
Titanic was constructed by the shipbuilders Harland and Wolff, who had a long-established relationship with the White Star Line dating back to 1867. They were known for their lavish designs and exquisite taste in luxury. No expense was spared in the interior design, however, some arrogant cost-cuts in the ships structure proved fatal. The Titanic's architect Thomas Andrews designed a faultless ship. It was the Chief Engineer Joseph Bell, who's arrogant cost-cutting decisions ultimately sealed the Titanic's fate. It is unfathomable that the impressive ship set sail with an excess of the world's finest china, softest Egyptian cotton sheets yet had watertight doors that didn't go all the way to the ceiling. This huge mistake cost 1,500 lives and created one of the world's worst maritime disasters.
As you walk through the exhibition, you get the chance to read actual logs from the shipyard and letters from passengers. My favourite part of the exhibition was the cable car ride. This is a suspended car that takes you through the construction of the ship from the eyes of a builder. It was incredible and completely immersive. There are about 10 cars that go around and some of them can even be completely converted into a wheelchair accessible cable car.
Cable Car Ride With Wheelchair Access
After the cable car ride, you get the chance to see rooms that have been re-created to resemble what the actual cabins looked like. The difference in classes and the amenities provided were staggering. As you continue to make your way through the exhibition, you come to a theater room that is surrounded by television screens. The theater then shows a video that simulates an elevator. The elevator takes you up through the ship deck by deck.
Riding Up Through The Decks
The Titanic set sail from Belfast on April 2nd 1912 with no passengers, only crew. It then arrived in Southampton, England and picked up most of its passengers. It then left for Cherbourg, France on April 10th 1912. It was in Cherbourg that the SS Nomadic was used to tender the passenger from ship to shore. After leaving Cherbourg, it headed to Queenstown, Ireland, where the Titanic would see land for the final time. The Titanic sank on April 14th 1912 after hitting an Iceberg. It only took the ship a little over 2 hours to disappear into the Atlantic Ocean.
There were several factors that doomed the luxurious vessel. The fact that the watertight doors didn't go all the way to the ceiling meaning that the leak and flooding couldn't be contained. The crew in the crows nest were not equipped with binoculars, so the iceberg was not even sighted till it was too late. The Titanic increased its speed to try and make it to New York early to make headlines. She definitely made headlines but not in the way anyone expected. The "unsinkable ship" indeed sank. All of those factors meant that the Titanic's passengers were doomed, in the face of an emergency it was apparent that the ship only carried half the amount of lifeboats it needed. After the tragedy, SOLAS was formed. Safety of life at sea or SOLAS for short, is an international maritime treaty which sets minimum safety standards in the construction, equipment and operation of merchant ships.
Ports Of Call
Another great feature of the exhibition was the interactive questions and answers. This was a fun way to learn more about the ship and discover interesting facts. As the exhibition came to an end, it brought you into a theater designed like a submarine to watch actual footage of what remains of the magnificent ship today. I couldn't help but get emotional, this exhibition really brings you through the Titanic's whole story.
Fashion Of The Time
What Remains Today
After experiencing the incredible exhibition. My mum and I decided to dress up and enjoy high tea. The Titanic building offers high tea served on china specifically made for the Titanic. The decor of the room was designed to resemble the Titanic's tea hall. If you have watched the Hollywood blockbuster, this room was featured. The clock that Jack waits for Rose at is even at the top of the staircase. This was a 5-star, quality culinary experience. Not only was the food and tea amazing but the entire ambiance made you feel like you were actually on-board.
Ready for Titanic High Tea
Authentic Titanic Cutlery
The Famous Clock
My mum and I thoroughly enjoyed the high tea and of course we had to take lots of photos. I mean, how could we resist, it really was gorgeous in there. I have been to many high-teas and this was by far my favourite.
Before leaving the Titanic building, I had to stop by the gift store. It sold a large selection of both souvenirs and historical books and DVD's. You could even buy a replica "heart of the ocean necklace". I got myself a collectors coin, a rubber ducky and also a china model of the ship.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Titanic, Belfast. It made me appreciate all the safety precautions modern day cruise ships now implement. I enjoy my job as an entertainer on modern day cruise ships and I have SOLAS and the Titanic to thank.
The Modern Day Cruise Ship
I hope you have enjoyed the second part of my blog on Titanic, Belfast, thank you for reading, until next time, Vegoutt Everybody!!