The Mail Online has reported on a little spat taking place on the Cruise Critic forum. The debate, it seems, is about the Titanic memorial voyage that will take place in April 2012, exactly 100 years after the White Star liner sank, with terrible loss of life.
The voyage, a special charter on Fred. Olsen’s Balmoral, sold in the UK by Miles Morgan Travel, will trace the route of the doomed Titanic, with a memorial ceremony held over the spot at which it collided with an iceberg and sank. Various guest speakers, all with an interest in Titanic, as well as many Cruise Critic members, will be on board.
According to the Mail, some who have booked a place are having period outfits tailor-made, or fantasising about which (fictitious) character from the hit movie, Titanic, they would like to play.
But the plans for commemorating the event have upset Cruise Critic member DD714, whose wife’s great grandfather died in the tragedy. DD714 points out acidly: “Who will be dressing up as my wife’s great grandfather? More specifically, who will be taking a memorial plunge in the 30 degree Atlantic ocean at the place where he met his death 98 years ago to experience what was described by survivors as ‘a thousand knives going into the body’?”
Well, quite. Marking the event is one thing but turning it into a costume party is another. Or is it? Other members on the forum have said they intend to treat the occasion with respect. Cruzin-K points out: “I hardly think that at 2.20 a.m. on the anniversary of the sinking people will be up on deck with streamers and martinis at a memorial service.” Member Rob6852 from Yeovil in Somerset simply says: “The whole idea of sailing in period dress in a great idea. I do know one or two relatives in this area that had family on that ship and they think this a wonderful idea.”
Personally, I think that the mood on board will be more sombre than DD714 fears, especially at this 2.20 a.m. memorial service. I sailed close to the spot where Titanic lies on Queen Mary 2 a couple of years ago and when the captain announced where we were, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. When you’re out there on the ocean, the whole thought of that fateful night is extremely sobering.
What do you think? Is a Titanic memorial voyage in good taste? Or is it a macabre idea? What is it about this ship that arouses such fascination?
Here, by the way, is the link to the story on the Mail website.