Titanic Memorial Cruise Retraces Tragic Voyage

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In April, 1912, the RMS Titanic left Belfast for sea trials.
Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis

THE GIST

- A cruise ship carrying the same number of passengers as the Titanic set sail from a British port on Sunday.

- As part of the 12-night voyage, the Titanic Memorial Cruise will stop at the location in the Atlantic Ocean where the original ship hit an iceberg.

A cruise ship carrying the same number of passengers as the Titanic sets sail from a British port on Sunday to retrace the doomed liner's route on its maiden voyage 100 years ago.

Relatives of some of those who died in the disaster are among the 1,309 passengers on board the MS Balmoral, which is set to leave Southampton docks in southern England at 1400 GMT.

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As part of the 12-night voyage, the Titanic Memorial Cruise will also stop at the location in the Atlantic Ocean where the original ship hit an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912.

Organizers are trying to recreate the experience of traveling on the White Star liner -- albeit safely this time -- with food from the original menus and a band from Belgium to play period music.

The band is in honor of the musicians who played on the Titanic as it sank beneath the waves with the loss of 1,514 lives.

People from 28 different countries have booked places on the voyage, which costs between £2,799 and £5,995 ($4,441 / €3,390 and $9,512 / €7,261) per person.

Cruise organizer Miles Morgan said it was a "very, very special cruise", especially for the relatives of those who died.

"This cruise has been five years in the making and every step of the way we have sought to make it authentic to the era and a sympathetic memorial to the passengers and crew who lost their lives," he said.

Jane Allen, whose great aunt survived aboard one of the Titanic's lifeboats but whose great uncle stayed on board the ship and died, said it was "important to remember."

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"It is still quite unbelievable what happened that night," said Allen, who is traveling on the memorial cruise with her husband Frank.

The boat will also stop at Cherbourg in France and Cobh in Ireland, just as the Titanic did.

A second cruise from New York is due to meet up with the British ship over the wreck site.

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