The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ship ferrying passengers from NYC to Canada to visit graves of Titanic victims

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Dressed in fur coats and wide-brimmed hats, passengers strolled Tuesday up the gangway of a memorial ship that is headed from New York to Canada to visit the spot where the Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

The ship was packed with history aficionados who have long been obsessed with the history of the doomed ocean liner. Quite a few wore old-fashioned 19th-century period costumes, and one little boy in a fake white beard was dressed up as Captain Edward John Smith.

The cruise ship Journey, operated by Azamara Club Cruises, was departing from a pier on New York City's west side Tuesday evening, exactly 100 years after the Titanic left Southampton, England. After stopping in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where more than 100 Titanic victims are buried, the cruise will continue on to conduct a memorial service at the spot in the Atlantic where the Titanic sank. Along the way, passengers will listen to lectures about life on board the Titanic and dine at a costume-themed dinner.

Ticket prices have dropped in recent weeks from about $5,000 per person to just $1,000 per person.

"It's just such a human tragedy that just resonates through the years," said Carol Owens Campbell, 61, of Long Grove, Ill., who was on board with her husband. "What would any of us do if that happened to us?"

There was a festive atmosphere above deck as passengers sipped champagne and explored the ship, which was not decorated in any way to resemble the Titanic and looked like an ordinary cruise liner.

Another ship operated by the same British travel agency is retracing the route of the Titanic. The memorial cruise aboard the MS Balmoral set sail from southern England on Sunday and made a brief stop in the Irish town of Cobh on Monday before continuing on its journey to New York. The Balmoral had to interrupt its journey on Tuesday because of a medical emergency on board.

At least one person on board the Journey had a very personal connection to the tragedy. Sharon Lee Willing, of Tucson, Ariz., bought a ticket to honour her great-grandfather, Herbert Chaffee, a farming magnate from North Dakota who perished in the sinking. Family lore has it that the couple was in Europe on their second honeymoon, Willing said.

"I know it's just going to look like water, but to think of that great ship down there," Willing said, getting choked up at the thought. "It's going to be kind of tough, I think."

Willing's great-grandmother, Carrie Chaffee, was placed in the last lifeboat to make it off the ship safely.

"I feel a very close attachment to him for some reason," Willing said. "I can't explain it."

After the journey, Campbell and her husband plan to stay at New York's Jane Hotel, where many crew members and survivors stayed after the sinking. Campbell admitted that she's just a little nervous about the voyage.

"It's fairly daunting to go on a ship at this particular time," she said. "If I see an iceberg, I don't know what I'll do."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jets Bogosian-Little-Ladd

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(  Standup photo)-    A butterfly looks for nector on a lily Tuesday afternoon in Wolseley-JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- June 22, 2010
  • Challenges of Life- Goose Goslings jump over railway tracks to catch up to their parents at the Canadian Pacific Railway terminalon Keewatin St in Winnipeg Thursday morning. The young goslings seem to normally hatch in the truck yard a few weeks before others in town- Standup photo- ( Day 4 of Bryksa’s 30 day goose project) - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think volunteers dragging the Red River is a good idea?

View Results

Ads by Google