General Industry

Titanic Belfast Dreams Big As It Reopens

By Dave Simpson
Titanic Belfast Dreams Big As It Reopens

Titanic Belfast has reopened its doors following a multi-million-pound refreshment programme.


The visitor attraction now includes four new galleries within the Titanic Experience, a new artefact collection and an illuminated 7.6m long scale model of the RMS Titanic, which is suspended from the ceiling and fully rotates.

The refreshed experience has introduced "The Pursuit of Dreams" as a new theme and combines immersive new technology with an original maritime heritage collection with the Titanic story.

Judith Owens MBE, chief executive 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 artefacts being displayed in Northern Ireland for the first time and an original music score which beautifully encapsulates the stories and emotions throughout.

"Visitors will be able to completely immerse themselves as the iconic story of Titanic is told as never before. We are over the moon with the new galleries, and we can't wait to welcome visitors to experience it for themselves. We are confident that the reimagined Titanic Experience will ensure Titanic Belfast remains a world-class, 'must-see' global visitor attraction for years to come."


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 the Titanic on that fateful night, detailing their fate, whether they were lost or saved. Positioned in front of those names is one of only twelve remaining Titanic life jackets in the world, the first of the new artefact collection now on display.

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

Never Again

Demonstrated by large tumbling dominos, visitors will explore the chain reaction of events that caused the 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 that limited the vision of the lookout on the crown's nest. The original keys for the binocular box on the RMS Titanic are now 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 board the Titanic on that tragic night.


Ballard's Quest

Visitors will pass through the void, the period of years when the ship was missing, before following Dr Robert Ballard's quest to fulfil his lifelong dream to discover the wreck of the Titanic.

They will hear where his inspiration came from, learn about his top-secret US Navy mission that led him to search for the Titanic, and his challenges and solutions for covering such a large area in a short space of time, and then witness the moment the team shout, "It's a boiler!"

The Ship of Dreams

The Ship of Dreams gallery allows visitors to go on a reflective journey of the hopes and dreams of those impacted by the famous ship. This addition to the Titanic Experience sees floor to ceiling projections of the dreams of the people who built her, those who sailed on her and those who were heading to New York to start a new life.

The entire setting is fully immersive with the projections programmed in sync with a fully lit centrepiece scale model of the ship that transforms with each dream. A bespoke music score aims to further elevates the visitor experience.

As visitors descend the staircase, a collection of original Titanic artefacts is on display, including the violin belonging to the ship's musician, Wallace Hartley, the sheepskin coat worn by Titanic stewardess Mabel Bennett and the black-enameled walking cane, complete with electric light installed at the head, that belonged to first class passenger Ella White.


The Lasting Legacy

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

Titanic Belfast Gallery Refreshment Fund

The £4.5 million investment has been fully 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.

Read More: Titanic Belfast To Display Original Titanic Artefacts

© 2023 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.