Another of my 101 things completed: the Titanic Experience Belfast. It’s a story that has fascinated people for 100 years. We’ve all seen the movies and know the story, but did you know the RMS Titanic was actually built in Belfast? At the start of the last century, Belfast was home to a shipbuilders Harland and Wolff, who built the Titanic the largest ship of the era.
So 2012 marked the 100th Anniversary of the maiden voyage, and sinking of the Titanic. Titanic Experience Belfast opened earlier this year on the anniversary of the ship’s sinking. The exhibition cost €100 million to build. I have to admit, previous to visiting I was a bit dubious about spending such a huge amount of money on a visitor attraction, especially in times like these. But I have to say it seems to have been money well spent. And it’s proven to be a huge success, as it has already attracted half a million visitors, since April. The exhibition is fantastic: modern, interactive, engaging and interesting.
The exhibition brings you right through Belfast’s history, the history of the shipyards, Harland and Wolff, the building of the ship, the passengers, the sinking and Titanic in the media.
If there was one suggestion I could make, and I know there have been quite a number of complaints about this so far, but there are full scale replicas of some of the dining areas and the staircase at the exhibition, which are unfortunately are only reserved for conference delegates. I think this is a shame, as visitors are paying £15 to visit (plus parking) and it would be nice if they could also view these areas. It is expensive to visit, but I believe you pay for what you get and it certainly is money well spent. We were under a bit of time pressure and made it through in 90 minutes or so, but you could easily spend much longer there, up to three hours I’d say even.
I don’t want to give too much away about the exhibition for future visitors, because I think it’s nicer to experience it all first hand. But I’ll share a couple images to give you a taste of the exhibition, why by the way, I would recommend anyone to visit. I’m not a particularly huge fan of museums, but this is one you should definitely include on an itinerary to Ireland or Northern Ireland.