When it comes to hot tickets, there has rarely been a year like 2012 yet a cruise to remember a tragic ship that launched a thousand stories might be the most intriguing.
Next year London will become the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times; Queen Elizabeth II will be only the second British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee plus there’s Euro 2102 Championships in Poland and Ukraine, the first major football event in what was the Eastern bloc.
However, April 2012 will mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage, a tragedy which turned it into arguably the most famous ship of all time.
The first ever Titanic Memorial Cruise on board Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Balmoral will set sail from Southampton on April 8. On April 15, it will converge with another cruise ship, the Azamara Journey, coming from New York for a memorial ceremony at the exact time that Titanic sank 100 years ago.
Miles Morgan, managing director of the Titanic Memorial Cruises, said: “Next year is set to be an extraordinary one in terms of sporting, royal and historic events. The Titanic Centenary will be one of the big news stories of next year.
"We have been approached by news crews all over the world who want to film our recreation of the fateful voyage and we know that documentaries and drama programmes will put Titanic back in the spotlight. "People from 24 different countries have already booked their place in history and with just over six months to go, we are getting daily enquries.”
A line up of specialist lectures are now booked for both voyages including Senan Molony, political editor of the Irish Daily Mail and author of several respected books about the disaster and Philip Littlejohn, grandson of Titanic survivor Alexander James Littlejohn and the only Titanic relative to have made the dive to the wreck site.
Inflation over the last century mean prices for all tickets have changed over the years. The average price of a third class cabin on the Titanic 100 years ago would have been around £8 per person, which today would be equivalent to £450. Berths on the Balmoral sold out more than a year ago but there are still places on the Azamara Journey, with prices starting at £4,385 per person including return flights from the UK, two nights’ accommodation in New York and the eight-night cruise.
For more information and booking visit www.titanicmemorialcruise.co.uk