Titanic fans make voyage to shipwreck site

Halifax: Passengers who left New York on a Titanic anniversary cruise ship voyage were to toss wreaths into the sea in a memorial service as part of events marking the 100th anniversary of the historic sinking.

The ship stopped off in Halifax yesterday during the trip to the shipwreck site of the RMS Titanic, which sank April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg.

The anniversary journey included passengers wearing clothing styles typical of a century ago. Among the places they visited was Fairview Lawn Cemetery, the gravesite for 121 of the 150 victims buried in Halifax. More than 1,500 crewmembers and passengers died in the accident.

The Canadian port at Halifax played an important role in the Titanic story.

The four ships sent to pull bodies of Titanic passengers from the Atlantic Ocean waters came from the Port of Halifax.

Before its maiden transatlantic voyage, the White Star cruise line that owned the Titanic described it as "unsinkable."

On Friday, history buffs on the reminiscent cruise plan to observe a day of reflection that will include lectures on the ill-fated crossing and other issues related to the sinking.

They are scheduled to arrive over the site of shipwreck on Saturday, where they will be met by the Balmoral, another cruise ship making a voyage of remembrance. Like the Titanic, the Balmoral left from Southampton in southern Britain.

A memorial service for the victims is scheduled for Friday at 2:20 am local time, when wreaths will be thrown from the Azamara Journey cruise ship into the sea.

Some passengers on the memorial cruise say they had relatives on the Titanic. One of them was Sharon Willing, whose great-grandmother survived, but whose great-randfather died, after ensuring that his wife was safe in a lifeboat.

"She never saw him again," Willing told television station NY1. "He went down with the ship and his body was never found."

The memorial journey, which is scheduled to return to New York April 18, carried 440 passengers in a ship that could accommodate 694.


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