Titanic Belfast Gears Up for Reopening

Following a multi-million-dollar refreshment program, Titanic Belfast is ready to reopen on March 4, 2023. The museum in Ireland’s Belfast now features four new galleries within the “Titanic Experience,” a new artifact collection and an illuminated 25-foot long scale model of RMS Titanic which is suspended from the ceiling and fully rotates.

Judith Owens MBE, CEO of Titanic Belfast said: “After years of planning, we are delighted to launch what I believe is Titanic Belfast’s most emotive visitor experience to date. Three galleries have been reimagined and we have reopened with four new themed spaces showcasing never heard before stories of the hopes and dreams of passengers, a collection of artifacts being displayed in Northern Ireland for the first time and an original music score which beautifully encapsulates the stories and emotions throughout.”

The refreshed experience introduces “The Pursuit of Dreams” as a new theme and combines immersive technology with a maritime heritage collection and the authentic Titanic story. The new experience begins as visitors leave “The Sinking” where they will see a backlit double height wall noting the names of all the passengers onboard Titanic on that fateful night. Positioned in front of those names is one of only 12 remaining Titanic life jackets in the world, the first of the new artifact collection now on display.

The four new spaces are called “Never Again,” “Ballard’s Quest,” “The Ship of Dreams” and “The Lasting Legacy.”

The Ship of Dreams_Titanic Belfast
A collection of original Titanic artifacts on display includes the violin belonging to the ship’s hero musician, Wallace Hartley. (Titanic Belfast)

At “Never Again,” visitors will explore the chain reaction of events which caused Titanic to sink and the measures put in place to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. One of the stories visitors will hear details the missing binocular box keys which limited the vision of the lookout on the crown’s nest. The original keys for the binocular box on RMS Titanic are on display, the first time they have been seen in public since 2009. Visitors will then delve into the witness testimonies from the British and American inquiries and hear first-hand views of what happened on that tragic night.

“Ballard’s Quest” will lead visitors through the void, the period of years when the ship was missing, before following Dr. Robert Ballard’s quest to fulfill his lifelong dream to discover the shipwreck. They will learn about his top-secret US Navy mission that led him to search for Titanic, his challenges and solutions for covering such a large area in a short space of time.

The Ship of Dreams_Titanic Belfast
“The Ship of Dreams” gallery reveals the hopes and dreams of those impacted by the ship. (Titanic Belfast)

“The Ship of Dreams” gallery reveals the hopes and dreams of those impacted by the ship. This addition to the “Titanic Experience” sees floor-to-ceiling projections of the dreams of the people who built it, those who sailed onboard and those who were heading to New York to start a new life. The setting is immersive with the projections programmed in sync with a fully lit centerpiece scale model of the ship which transforms with each dream. A collection of original Titanic artifacts on display includes the violin belonging to the ship’s hero musician, Wallace Hartley, the sheepskin coat worn by Stewardess Mabel Bennett and the black-enameled walking cane, complete with electric light installed at the head, which belonged to first-class passenger Ella White.

Visitors will depart “The Ship of Dreams” and enter modern times to see how the significance of the Titanic story has impacted Belfast and captured the world’s imagination through film, theater and literature. They can test their knowledge of Titanic through an interactive quiz and strike a pose to capture their Jack and Rose photo moment on the bow of the ship.

The £4.5 ($5.3) million investment has been funded from the Titanic Belfast Gallery Refreshment Fund which was established when the building opened as part of the commercial operator agreement and held by the charity owner, Maritime Belfast Trust.

For more information, visit titanicbelfast.com.

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