By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last port of call: After heavy winds The Balmoral arrives in Cobh yesterday as it retraces the steps of the RMS Titanic's journey
A memorial cruise retracing the Titanic’s journey has been delayed by gales and heavy seas just hours into the voyage. MS Balmoral – carrying relatives of Titanic victims among its 1,309 passengers, the same number as on the doomed ship – was battered by 30ft waves as it crossed the Irish Sea.
It was delayed by two hours before docking at Cobh on the south coast of Ireland, the Titanic’s last port of call before its journey into the North Atlantic.
The cruise set sail from Southampton on Sunday and aims to reach the Titanic’s wreck site for a memorial ceremony to mark the moment the liner struck an iceberg on April 14 100 years ago.
But bad weather delayed its arrival yesterday at Cobh, where it was reported a lifeboat was on hand in case of problems. A passenger said after docking: ‘There is a bad feeling on board that maybe the voyage is doomed by bad luck.’
The Balmoral was due to continue its journey late last night.
Relief: Nigel and Sonja Lingard of Brackford Green, Norfolk arrive from the Titanic Memorial Cruise for a stop in Cobh, Ireland, following delays
Stopoff: James A Flood from Florida disembarks from The Balmoral in Cobh yesterday on what is one of the most talked about cruises
Memorial: Having arrived in Cobh a woman looks at Titanic souvenirs at a shop in the Irish port town
Passengers wearing period costumes hold on to their hats aboard the MS Balmoral Titanic memorial cruise ship as it sails from Southampton
From the wreck site, it will go to Nova Scotia, where some of the Titanic’s victims are buried, and then on to New York, the destination the ship never reached.
Once there, passengers will leave wreaths and family artifacts in memory of those who died.
Passengers making the journey come from more than 20 countries and include relatives of survivors, authors, historians and people who are fascinated by the Titanic story.
During the 12-night cruise they will eat meals from the Titanic's original menu and attend lectures given by historians and experts.
A five-piece band will recreate the soundtrack from the era for passengers.
Quick dip: Merri Mack of Sydney, Australia ,climbs out of the top deck pool on the Titanic Memorial Cruise as it moves through high winds. Force eight winds delayed the arrival in Cobh by several hours
Tour: Passengers from the Titanic Memorial Cruise view a Titanic plaque while on a tour of Cobh
Delays: The memorial cruise was delayed for two hours before docking here in Cobh, on the south coast of Ireland
The Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and sank the following morning, claiming 1,517 lives.
On the anniversary, passengers will gather on deck for a memorial ceremony at 11:40pm - the exact time ship the hit the iceberg exactly 100 years on.
Another service will be held at 2.20am to mark the moment it sank.
Entertainment: The band The Full Irish perform outside the Rob Roy Bar after the Titanic Memorial Cruise arrived for a stop in Ireland
Departure: Passengers wave as the MS Balmoral Titanic memorial cruise ship sails from Southampton, but it was not long before the liner was forced to dock in Cobh after gales and heavy seas
Drill: Those on MS Balmoral had to try their life jackets on during an emergency drill before the cruise left but there was a real emergency when it was battered by 30ft waves
Speaking before the delays Philip Littlejohn, grandson of survivor Alexander James Littlejohn, and the only Titanic relative to have made the dive to the wreck site, said: 'I'm sure my grandfather, a 1st Class Steward on RMS Titanic, would be proud to know his story will be shared with the passengers on this historic cruise.
'It will be an emotional moment when we are over the wreck site, where I dived in 2001, and where my grandfather left Titanic rowing Lifeboat 13.'
Passengers have paid up to £6,000 to join the commemorative voyage.
Miles Morgan, managing director of Miles Morgan Travel, which chartered the journey, said: 'This cruise has been five years in the making and we have sought to make it authentic to the era and a sympathetic memorial to the passengers and crew who lost their lives.
Setting sail: Passengers wave out to sea as the Balmoral cruise ship leaves Southampton docks
Thousands boarded the Balmoral cruise ship before it left Southampton but disaster struck just two hours in when the weather caused delays
Doomed: A picture of the Titanic which sunk after it hit an iceberg in the north Atlantic in 1912
Dozens of artifacts from the world's most famous ship have emerged since it sank on April 15, 1912.
Numerous events have also taken place in the lead up to the 100th anniversary of its sinking.
The Belfast shipyard where the Titanic was built has been revitalised in time for the landmark date, while an eye-catching, dockside centre opened just weeks before the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Titanic cruise is delayed by 30ft waves: Memorial journey of MS Balmoral halted for two hours following heavy gales
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER