Titanic lands in Houston museum

By Jamie Lim

At the time, it was the grandest luxury ship in the world. Its port of call: New York City. There was only one thing in its way: an iceberg.

The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, in the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly 100 years later, the Houston Museum of Natural Science will be hosting a special exhibit dedicated to Titanic.

“There are eight different rooms that tell the story of Titanic from its conception, accommodations, personal stories, to the wreckage,” director of youth education, Amanda Norris said.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition opened on March 16. Even though the museum had the exhibit in 2002, Norris said this year’s exhibit is completely different.

“There is only one object that is a repeat from the ’02 exhibit out of over 200 artifacts on display.” Norris said. “Several of the artifacts have been brought up from the wreck site after 2002.”

In addition to the artifacts, the exhibit will take visitors through the voyage of Titanic. The exhibit will showcase the life of Titanic in chronological order.

“I feel that seeing actual artifacts recovered from the sunken vessel would be very cool and provide a lot of insight of the ambiance inside the biggest, most luxurious ship in the world at that time,” Houston sophomore Alex Habib said.

Upon entering the exhibit, patrons will receive boarding passes similar to the ones from 1912. In addition, the boarding passes will be of actual passengers that were aboard Titanic.

“As they learn the story of Titanic, they will experience what it may have been like for their assigned person,” Norris said. “At the end of the exhibit they will learn the fate of their passenger.”

In the exhibit, visitors will be able to see recreations of a first class stateroom and third class cabin. They will also be able to press their hands against an iceberg while hearing stories about passengers aboard the Titanic.

Furthermore, the museum’s planetarium will be showing “Night of the Titanic,” a tragedy that embraces the last day of the Titanic, and will showcase the nature and human elements that contributed to the sinking.

The museum will also host a VIP Night for the special exhibition. The event will take place on the centennial anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, April 12. Starting at 8 p.m., guests will have access to two designated areas in the museum: first class and third class.

For $40, guests will be able to listen to a live string quartet and enjoy food inspired from the actual first class menu. In third class, however, there will be a Celtic rock band and food from the third class menu. Guests will also have access to the exhibit and interact with actors portraying Captain Smith and “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown.

Finally, the museum will also have a gift shop dedicated to Titanic. Visitors will be able to purchase actual coal from the wreck site.

“Coal is the only artifact that the company is able to sell individual with the proceeds going to help conservation efforts of other Titanic artifacts,” Norris said.

Tickets for the exhibit can be purchased at the museum or on their website. The price for adults is $27, while children and senior citizens are $20. A discount is available for college students. Visitors will have until Sept. 13 to partake in the voyage of Titanic.

“This year is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ‘Ship of Dreams,’” Norris said. “So those that wish to commemorate one of the first global disasters might wish to pay their respects.”