Miles Morgan Travel launches Titanic memorial cruise

Travel agency Miles Morgan Travel has chartered a Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship to offer a cruise marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

The 12-night Titanic-themed cruise on board the ship Balmoral on April 8, 2012 goes on sale tomorrow, priced from £1,999 to £7,995, including return flights.

It will take the same  route the Titanic took out of Southampton to New York in 1912 and will carry 1,309 passengers – the same number as the real Titanic.

It is thought to be the only cruise marking the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. The ship, chartered by Miles Morgan Travel, is operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines – shareholders in Harland and Wolff, which built the Titanic.

Travel agent Miles Morgan, who runs eight travel agencies and an online weddings tour operation and is a former sales and marketing director of Thomson, said passenger safety would be taken very seriously.  “We will be avoiding ice-bergs at all costs. We want authenticity, but not to that degree,” he said.

Morgan, who came up with the idea two years ago, is reviewing whether to put the itinerary on sale through the trade. Staff at Miles Morgan Travel have already been trained to sell the product, although the majority of bookings are likely to come online.

“We are reviewing whether to sell this through the trade and pay commission. We have no idea how quickly it will sell but we think the people interested in going will be a combination of relatives, Titanic aficionados, and cruisers who want to do something different,” added Morgan, who anticipates that half the bookings will come from the US.

The cruise will leave Southampton on April 8, 2012, and sail close to Cherbourg before docking at Cobh, formerly Queenstown, in Ireland, where the Titanic made its final port of call on April 11, 1912.

It will continue on to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where passengers can visit the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, where 121 Titanic victims are buried, and the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery and Hirsch Jewish Cemetery, which also have graves of those lost during the journey. It ends in New York.

The cruise will include a memorial service on Sunday April 15, 2012, at the spot where the ship sank, to commemorate the 100th anniversary and pay tribute to the passengers and crew on board the ship that night.

There will also be talks, demonstrations and lectures on board and food, entertainment, music and dancing will be in keeping with 1912 and the original voyage.

“There has been a lot of talk about this being done and it has taken a lot of arranging and is a big financial commitment, but someone had to do it,” said Morgan, whose company has paid millions to charter the ship from Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

The cruise will initially be advertised through Titanic web forums and online. Enquiries can be made through the company’s Titanic Memorial cruise website. Morgan has appointed Tara Plumley as general manager, special projects, to take reservations.

Homepage image: Tony Davies / Rex Features

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