Nearly 100 years after the Titanic went down, a cruise with the same number of passengers aboard set sail on Sunday to retrace the ship’s voyage, including a visit to the location where it sank.
The Titanic Memorial Cruise departed from Southampton, where the Titanic left on its maiden voyage. The 12-night cruise will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the White Star liner.
With 1,309 passengers aboard, the MS Balmoral will follow the same route as the Titanic. Organizers are trying to recreate the onboard experience – minus the disaster – from the food to a live band playing music from that era, in tribute to Titanic’s musicians who reportedly played their instruments until the ship sank.
Organizers said people from 28 countries have booked passage, including relatives of some of the more than 1,500 people who died when the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912 in international waters in the North Atlantic. Other passengers include relatives of the around 700 survivors, along with authors and historians.
The tickets varied in cost from £2,799 ($4,445) to £5,995 ($9,520).
Over the course of the voyage, passengers will be attending lectures by Titanic experts such as Philip Littlejohn, grandson of a Titanic survivor. They will dine on meals based around dishes served in April 1912, with a formal dinner on April 13 made up entirely of dishes served aboard the Titanic.
Cruise organizers have set up a special memorial service on April 14 to start at 11:40 p.m. to mark the moment Titanic hit the iceberg, and later at the exact moment when the ship sank.
The cruise is among an abundance of commemorations and memorials to the reputedly unsinkable ship that have sprung up to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s doomed voyage.