by Spencer Bollettieri, freelance writer for Theme Park Magazine
An individual can read about history in a book or watch it on a screen, but there is nothing like witnessing the story of the unsinkable Titanic in person at “Titanic. The Exhibition.”
Considered the greatest maritime catastrophe of all time, the traveling Titanic exhibit dives into the events that unfolded aboard the Titanic and the aftermath of its tragic sinking.
Full of unique artifacts, detailed recreations, and over a century of stories, “Titanic. The Exhibition” allows guests to embark on a journey to learn about the past in a very personal way.
Experiencing “Titanic. The Exhibition”
Currently, open in London, Los Angeles, and New York City, “Titanic. The Exhibition” is a quasi-self-guided experience. At the start, visitors receive a small audio device and a pair of headphones. Small, accessible, and available in English or Spanish, the device is convenient and allows visitors to explore each display at their own pace for an hour-and-a-half-long listening tour. Hauntingly atmospheric, Musealia features the research of noted historians like Titanic expert Claes-Göran Wetterholm, recordings of survivors, and even the ship itself. Each exhibit attempts to feel grand in its scale, beautiful in presentation, and like guests are experiencing history rather than simply observing it.
The first room sets the tone for the attraction, a single life jacket recovered from an unknown survivor surrounded by projections of water. The audio tour explains to visitors how the Titanic inspired so many legends but reminds them that “the ship of dreams” was real and so were the people on board. From there, guests notice just how narratively driven the exhibits are.
While “Titanic. The Exhibition” explores the engineering wonders and technical aspects of the ship’s construction; it’s more about sharing the stories of the people who embarked on it. Not only will people encounter familiar names like those of the “unsinkable” Molly Brown, the prestigious Captain Edward Smith, and the heroic musicians who continued to play until the end, but also lesser-known historical figures. The audio tour includes recounts of romance, politics, intrigue, and tragedy connected to each display, which makes for a beautiful, albeit heavy, experience.
Highlights of “Titanic. The Exhibition” features the real-life story of James Cameron’s Titanic, as guests learn about the romance of Kate Phillips and can see the original necklace that inspired “The Heart of the Ocean” in the movie (see Fiction vs. Reality further below). Others include breathtaking dioramas, one of which allows guests to walk through a section of the ship as it appeared in 1912. Those brave enough can touch a frozen iceberg to sample just how cold it was on that night and dangerous it was in the frozen waters of the Atlantic.
The experience ends in a gift shop, where guests can purchase photographs taken at the beginning. There is also a selection of books, clothing, and glassware, and other souvenirs that reflect gifts for at-home historians. Although, for guests who wish to recount the exhibit and its treasures, for the price of a VIP ticket, they can take home a complimentary book that encapsulates the experience along with their commemorative photos without additional charge.
A Titanic Story to Stimulate and Educate
The traveling “Titanic. The Exhibition” attempts to be stimulating as it is educational and blurs the line between attraction and exhibit through the mysteries of maritime history. While many bring younger children, this is truly an exhibit for older guests to appreciate. The exhibition acknowledges the romance and legends of the Titanic but also respectfully handles its subject by reflecting the ship’s reality.
“Titanic. The Exhibition” offers standard and VIP admission, starting at $25 (pricing may vary depending on location), with discounted prices for seniors, students, groups, and the military. Standard tickets come with the audio tour and regular entrance to the exhibit. Meanwhile, VIP passes offer a book with souvenir photographs, faster entry, and complimentary use of their coat check as a bonus.
Bringing “Titanic. The Exhibition” to Life
Created in collaboration with event service Fever and edutainment organizer Exhibition Hub, European curation company Musealia brought Titanic. The Exhibition to life. Combining the art of storytelling, science, and technology, all three companies have offered powerful excursions into the past. Whether they’re being dwarfed by dinosaurs, stepping into the beautiful paintings of Van Gogh, or learning about Auschwitz’s horrors, emotion is at the heart of each excursion, allowing guests to connect to the past in unforgettable ways.
Fiction vs. Reality – Jack, Rose, and the Necklace
James Cameron’s Titanic movie is well known for being a fictional story taking place on the backdrop of a true historic event, the sinking of the Titanic.
While the story of Jack and Rose is fiction, there was inspiration behind it.
As the story goes, a 39-year-old married man named Henry Morley fell in love with one of his employees, 19-year-old Kate Phillips. Morley purchased tickets on the Titanic for him and Phillips under fake names. On the voyage, Morley presented Phillips with a pendant with a jewel as a token of his love for her. When the Titanic sank, Phillips was allowed onto a lifeboat, but not Morley, who perished. Nine months later, Phillips gave birth to a baby conceived on the Titanic with Morley.
The necklace Morley gave Phillips is one of the featured exhibits at “Titanic. The Exhibition.”
Explore More (Videos)
Footage of “Titanic. The Exhibition” in New York City.
Explore More (Resources)
- Website: Titanic. The Exhibition (see what cities it is available at)
- Facebook: Titanic. The Exhibition
About Spencer Bollettieri: As a biologist, journalist, and writer, Spencer Bollettieri has written for sites such as Screen Rant. Although mostly based out of New York, he’s traveled the world in pursuit of new stories.