Sneak Peek inside Titanic Belfast
15 Mar 2012
80,000 Tickets Already Pre-Sold
With just over two weeks to its opening on March 31st, Titanic Belfast has given local and international press a sneak-peak into its galleries and the 1,000-seater banqueting venue, Titanic Suite. After three years under construction, the same length of time it took to build Titanic, the visitor attraction is now completing its finishing touches.
It’s also been confirmed that almost 80,000 tickets have already been pre-sold and that 200 events have been booked for the Titanic Suite, ranging from business and charity gala dinners, to wedding receptions and international conferences.
Apart from the Titanic Suite, Titanic Belfast’s nine galleries were previewed by around 70 out-of-state press, including the Washington Post and Time magazine, as part of a press trip organised by NITB and Tourism Ireland. The galleries tell the story of Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.
Tim Husbands, Titanic Belfast’s CEO, said:
“For the first time in three years it’s now possible to walk round Titanic Belfast without the need for hard hats and safety boots. It’s a great feeling to see the building as visitors will see it and to find that its content, which looked great on paper, looks even better in reality.
“An immense effort has gone into ensuring that Northern Ireland has, at last, a focal point for its Titanic and maritime heritage. We wanted a statement building which would help transform Belfast’s international reputation and an attraction which any major city would be proud of. I firmly believe that Titanic Belfast will live up to both those expectations.”
Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster, said:
“The interest from around the world in Titanic Belfast is phenomenal and that is before the building has even opened its doors. I have no doubt the building will establish itself as one of the best visitor attractions in the globe.
“An amazing programme of events have been organised to mark the opening of the building including lightshows, an MTV event and a series of commemorations. And that is only the start of the ni2012 campaign, with the Irish Open and the new Giant’s Causeway visitors centre just two of a host of exciting events planned. This is going to be a special year for Northern Ireland so make sure you don’t miss your chance to be part of it.”
Among the highlights previewed for the press were three galleries which have been completely finished. The remaining galleries are due for completion within the next week:
Gallery Two: The Arrol Gantry
Visitors take a 20m journey in a metal elevator up the Arrol Gantry, the enormous steel structure built to facilitate the construction of Titanic and her sister ships, Olympic and Britannic. They then join Harland & Wolff's workers on a ‘shipyard ride’. Believed to be the first of its kind, the ride is a five-minute journey in a six-seater car that rotates and moves up and down along a circuit accompanied by CGI, audio and special effects. Full-size replicas, including riveting machines and Titanic’s rudder, give a scale perspective into working life in the shipyard. The original Arrol Gantry was 840 ft long, 240 ft wide and 228 ft high, and was in use until the 1960s.
Gallery Four: The Fit-Out
Gallery Four tells of the skill and craftsmanship that went into Titanic, from the fitting of its enormous boilers and engines to the fine joinery and upholstery work of its linens, carpets and cabins. Visitors will experience the reality of the ship's interiors in a ‘3D cave’ that recreates the engine rooms, third class saloons, first class corridors, grand staircase, a la carte restaurant and navigation bridge, allowing visitors to ‘walk’ the ship’s length. There are also detailed, full scale reconstructions of 1st, 2nd and 3rd class cabins.
Gallery Seven: The Aftermath
A poignant wall of 400 life vests leads into Gallery Seven. Interactive visual and audio displays centred round a 25ft replica of a Titanic lifeboat interpret the aftermath of the sinking, the British and American inquiries into the disaster and the ongoing question of whom – if anyone – was to blame, as well as the important changes to safety at sea legislation, from which we still benefit. Visitors can also explore Titanic’s passenger and crew database, and follow the parallel lives of her sister ships, Olympic and Britannic, and the story of Harland & Wolff after the sinking.
Occupying the top two floors of Titanic Belfast with views over the slipways where Titanic and her sister ships were built, the suite is the city’s largest dedicated banqueting space. Its focal point is a stunning 10,000 piece near-replica of Titanic’s Grand Staircase built by a local family firm, Oldtown Joinery from Bellaghy.
Over the past week the Titanic Suite has taken delivery of 20,000 separate catering items ranging from 5,100 wine and champagne glasses to 204 hot pot dishes and 408 latte mugs. Onboard Titanic itself there were over 57,000 pieces of crockery and 44,000 pieces of cutlery.
Mr. Husbands added:
“Feedback from the travel trade – from group tour operators to cruise operators has been fantastic, and we’ve been inundated for months with media enquiries from Argentina to North America to Australia. Titanic Belfast and the upcoming Titanic Festival will bring significant attention to the city - it’s going to be a great opportunity to showcase Belfast at its best.”
The opening of Titanic Belfast will be followed by a Titanic Festival which will run until April 22nd. Highlights among the 120 events include Titanic Sounds, an open air MTV concert on Titanic’s slipway, one of the world’s largest light shows to be projected onto Titanic Belfast, the opening of a Memorial Garden at Belfast City Hall and international street performers and markets at Titanic Belfast.
Given the level of interest in Titanic Belfast and the accompanying festival, visitors are being encouraged to pre-book tickets where possible. Tickets for Titanic Belfast can be purchased online at www.titanicbelfast.com
or by phone / in person at the Belfast Welcome Centre at +44(0)28 9076 6399.
Back to listing