Miles Morgan Travel promises it will be the “voyage of a lifetime.” On April 8, 2012, the MS Balmoral—operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, whose parent company (Harland and Wolff) built Titanic—will set sail from Southampton, United Kingdom, on what is being billed as the Titanic Memorial Cruise. No, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet will not be on board, but the voyage figures to be surreal nonetheless.
Save for the fact that the Balmoral bears little resemblance to Titanic (and that everyone aboard the 100th anniversary cruise will be decidedly upper class), the passage figures to mimic that of Titanic in ways both large and small.
To begin with, bookings are available for 1,309 passengers—the same number that sailed on Titanic’s maiden voyage—and Balmoral will follow the same route as Titanic, docking at the Irish port of Cobh on April 11, 2012, where the star-crossed vessel made its final port of call exactly a hundred years earlier.
Continuing on across the Atlantic, on April 14 at 11:40 p.m., Balmoral is scheduled to arrive at the spot where Titanic struck an iceberg, and a memorial service will be held at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, to coincide with the time the massive ship went down.
Then the Balmoral will make its way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where passengers will have the opportunity to disembark and visit Fairview Lawn Cemetery, where 121 victims of the disaster are buried. Finally, it’s on to New York, the intended final destination for Titanic.
Along the way, passengers will dine on the identical menu as that of Titanic, and enjoy the same type of music and entertainment as would have been performed in 1912. Naturally, there will also be lectures and presentations, courtesy of Titanic historians.
Advertised prices for the 12-night cruise (including return flight from New York to London), range from £3,350 per person up to £7,995 per person for an “Owners Suite,” though the most expensive suites and least expensive cabins are already sold out.