9 Apr 2012

Cruise ship heads for Titanic wreck site

9:08 am on 9 April 2012

A cruise ship has set sail from the British port of Southampton intending to follow the exact course of the maiden voyage of the Titanic.

Passengers from 28 countries paid up to £8000 for the journey on the MS Balmoral marking the centenary of the disaster.

The Titanic hit an iceberg in Atlantic waters off Newfoundland on the night of 14 April 1912 and sank several hours later, killing about 1500 people.

Some 700 people were rescued but there were too few lifeboats to save the rest.

The 12-night memorial cruise will try to recreate the atmosphere of the time with food and music from the era, while experts will give lectures about the Titanic.

The BBC reports that relatives of survivors, authors and historians are joined by enthusiasts - so-called 'Titanoraks'.

Among them is a couple who using the trip as their honeymoon after a themed wedding in Belfast where the ship was built.

Passengers will gather for a service to be held to mark the moment of the sinking.