Travel agent Miles Morgan’s Titanic Memorial Cruise is close to selling out 18 months before it retraces the ill-fated journey of the historic vessel 100 years ago.
There is just a handful of cabins left on the 1,230-passenger Balmoral, the Fred Olsen ship that the travel agency owner chartered 18 months ago.
The ship will sail from Southampton on April 8, 2012, and will follow the Titanic’s original itinerary across the Atlantic to New York.
Bookings on the 12-night cruise have come from 26 countries, with the largest number coming from the US followed by the UK. Thirty passengers have ancestors who perished on the original voyage.
Morgan said many bookings had been generated after news of the cruise spread online. “It just shows the viral power of the internet,” he said.
Titanic enthusiasts from across the UK will be able to follow the ship’s progress thanks to a media partnership with the BBC.
The broadcaster will report from the ship each day and BBC Ireland is looking to broadcast an onboard memorial service. ABC is set to screen it in the US.
Morgan is also gearing up to launch an online shop selling Titanic merchandise, ranging from replicas of the furniture on board to souvenir caps. The shop is at titanicheritagecollection.com.
Guests will be able to sample the same meals as the original passengers and hear lectures from renowned experts on the doomed ship.
Morgan dismissed criticism in the national press that guests dressing up as characters from James Cameron’s hit film Titanic would be in “bad taste”.
“Some guests will dress up but I’m not encouraging them to,” he said. The chosen charity for the voyage is Mission to Seafarers and Morgan will be making a contribution for every passenger.