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A Titanic experience in Melbourne

09:00 AEST Thu Jul 15 2010
Just about everyone must know the RMS Titanic story — from history or more likely from the 1997 blockbuster movie.

On April 10, 1912, RMS Titanic left Southampton in England on her maiden voyage. The largest ship afloat carried passengers, mail and frozen food, and was heading for New York City under the White Star Line banner. It cost around $7.5 million to build. That would translate to $400,000,000 today. No expense had been spared in assuring luxury, and even before she sailed, the Titanic was a legend.

Four days into the journey at 11.40pm, Titanic struck an iceberg and icy water poured through the ship. In less than three hours she settled in her watery grave and is still the world's worst maritime disaster.

Along with Mamma Mia!, Titanic is one of Dermott Brereton's favourite movies so he couldn't wait to see the Titanic Exhibition at Melbourne Museum.

The museum has exclusive rights to the amazing, travelling show. It has been seen by 22 million visitors around the world and it is proving to be of enormous interest in Melbourne. The exhibition covers the building of the ship, its sinking and recovery of artefacts from the wreckage.

It's very different from most museum experiences. Every visitor is given a replica boarding pass for a real passenger, and at the end, you discover their fate. Some survived — most didn't. Of the 2200 who boarded, 1500 were lost.

As you journey through the exhibition you can inspect hundreds of artefacts which were recovered from the ship. The difference between first and third class is quite staggering.

There's a replica of the first-class area. Back then the fare was $2500, a princely sum which translates to about $50,000 today. Third-class passengers paid $40 ($1000 today) and 700 of them had to share two bathtubs.

The most impressive part of the exhibition is the full-size replica of the grand staircase.

Dermott toured the exhibition in character as Colonel John Jacob Astor IV. Astor was a member of one of the world's richest families. So rich, he donated so much money to the army they gave him his own regiment. At the age of 47 he took himself an 18-year-old wife and passage on Titanic's maiden voyage.

To see what happened to Dermott/Colonel Astor you'll just have to visit the exhibition.

The last living survivor, Millvina Dean, passed away on May 31, 2009 aged 97.


Melbourne Museum.


Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition will be open until October 17, 2010. Entry costs $24 for adults, $16 for children and $66 for a family (two adults and two children). It includes entry to the museum and exhibition. Open every day between 10am and 5pm and on Thursdays until 9pm.

Virgin Blue has one-way flights to Melbourne from:

  • Hobart $75
  • Adelaide $79
  • Sydney $89
  • Canberra $95
  • Brisbane $129
  • Darwin $179
  • Perth $235

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at July 15, 2010, and are subject to change.

Prices correct at July 15, 2010.

For further information

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789

Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson Street
Carlton 3053
Ph: 131 102

User comments
Good show but get your facts right. Not counting deaths due to war there are four more maritime disaster. A quick wiki research would have set you right!

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