Clicking a picture will bring up all the posts pictures in a slideshow. To view an individual picture in full screen, right click and select 'Open link in new tab'

Friday, 25 July 2014

Titanic Belfast Visit July 2014

Me and my Ayrshire walking friend, the 'Ranger' are finally making a trip we talked about over twelve months ago. We're taking the ferry to visit Titanic Belfast
(It's only a few minutes from the terminal to Cairnryan's free north car park, we saved money and walked)
We're also taking advantage of Stena Line's Wonderful Wednesdays offer.
A return ticket for £10 includes a 'Metro' bus card for all day use.
A warning about the free transport though, check the times. Buses to Stena Port are limited to a single decker and limited to arriving at the port one and a half hours before sailing times.
Because I'd have missed our booking time at Titanic, I'd already decided on a taxi. We shared a 7 seater with one other and were charged £8 for the two of us to the Titanic Quarter. 

I'll start with a few pictures from the boat, then a few from the attraction.
Corsewall lighthouse after rounding Milleur Point.

Ailsa Craig.

The 'Ranger' thought she was Marilyn Monroe as she had to hold down her skirt from the wind.

Two more Stena ferries and Kilroot Power Station, the only coal-fired power station in Northern Ireland.

Carrickfergus Castle.
It's possible there are a few of my readers who have never come across the song Carrickfergus.
One of the most beautiful ballads ever in the history of music. Almost every ballad singer of note has recorded it at some time or another. Fifteen year old Charlotte Church sang it quite beautifully back in 2001, but my favourite singer of it is Brian Kennedy.

I seem to remember identifying this big house on Belfast  Lough's southern shore once before, but at the moment it's slipped my mind.

I zoomed in for this picture from the boat. At the time I hadn't realized I'd got a sneak preview.

So, after disembarking, we did go round to the bus stances, but we'd have had to wait around fifteen minutes, and then we'd have to change in the city centre. We got the taxi.
Here then is the view of the centre as you approach.

Having booked online, we now had to collect our tickets from one of the kiosks just inside the entrance.
There's an official photographer who'll take a picture of you on your way in. We thought it was a compulsory  part of the experience since our way to the escalator was roped off. It was only after we'd had our picture taken we saw people remove the rope and head up the escalator. At £7.50 for the cheapest we decided against. I can take a selfie for free !

An escalator took us up to the first of  The Galleries. ...........
There are website links to each of these and I'll include them as we move along.
..............the first of these is called Boomtown Belfast
I wonder if our Mary is related ?
For anyone who wants to take in all the experience, you won't do it in a couple of hours. There is so much content that were we to stop and study every information board or exhibit we'd still be there.

Modern technology and very large exhibits work together with 'hands on' computer terminals to begin the story.

We move on to the Arrol Gantry and The Shipyard Ride

We climb into carriages for the Shipyard Ride This is like a fairground ride that ascends a replica of one of the giant pillars of the Arrol Gantry. As we spiral upwards, we see animations and reconstructions recreating the shipbuilding of the time. It's quite a trip !

There must be an amazing control room somewhere in the centre.

As we come to the top of the Shipyard Ride, there's a lot of noisy activity behind the bar doors.
We thought perhaps if they had the doors bursting open and someone falling out it would add more authenticity. More likely give someone a heart attack.

The next gallery is The Launch

There's a screen showing the launch (CGI I think)

Then somehow the windows are electronically wired up.............
..............which suddenly clear from opaque to a view of the gantry and the ship.

Before moving along to the next gallery, there's an opportunity to look over and down to the entrance hall.

It's a busy place so I can understand why they have booking times.

We're now into the Fitting Out gallery

I mentioned earlier that I thought there was a lot of CGI imagery, the web page for this gallery confirms it.

Before we reached this exhibit, I wondered whether they hired actors to recreate scenes.
It was only as we got closer I realized it was screens on either side of the mirror giving the effect of a hologram.
Very clever !

Second and third class compartments were really small.
A young lady goes about readying for bed.

Here we stand in The Cave. It's a 270°, high resolution, moving up through the decks, reconstruction of the interiors of the Titanic. It can make you dizzy, a woman nearly fell on to me. 
I took some video here, but I've since learned it's prohibited, but have a look at this link to see how it pans out.

There are lots of Artefacts throughout the building.

The next gallery concerns the Maiden Voyage.

A window looks out on a very modern city. Well done Belfast.

We continue on to The Sinking

It's another electronic display..............

...............with an inevitable outcome !

Here there are stories of the survivors and those notables that perished.

The gallery of The Aftermath.

This reconstruction of a member of the enquiry board makes him out to be nodding off to sleep occasionally.

There'll be many an untold story yet.

More views of the city of Belfast.

It's almost a cinema that begins the Explore the Wreck gallery.
After sitting watching on screen an underwater exploration, the gallery guide then calls us to the front.............  

...........where we watch 'Titanic Beneath' beneath our feet as Dr Robert Ballard's high definition footage scrolls by. A little imagination and you're in that submersible over the wreck. 

I doubt whether the 'Ranger' is considering the diving suit for her wardrobe.

Our last gallery is in fact not a gallery, but the Ocean Exploration Centre where live pictures are being beamed from the 'Nautilus'. There's a lot happening in the deep. Here's the dedicated website.
Our tour over we headed to the souvenir shop.
After purchasing fridge magnets (I gave the baseball cap a miss), we headed out to find our bus stop.

Here we managed a self timer.

A dry dock holds the old and the new.
We found the bus stop for our journey to the city centre.
We had a short while to wait and as around half a dozen folk congregated, I handed out the wine gums.
Our journey into the city centre didn't take long. 
We'd intended to eat somewhere, but we learned from our bus driver that our terminal bus would leave in twenty minutes. 
As I said earlier, this bus got us back to the terminal way too early.

We ate on the boat.........I shouldn't have had that muffin in the terminal !.
The 'Ranger' having had to leave in the middle of the night to catch the boat managed forty winks.
I took some pictures.
By the time we got to our vehicles the traffic from the boat was well away. I only had one slow car and one slow lorry to overtake. The 'Ranger' wasn't so lucky she got behind a tractor and a horsebox.

A great day out, but I'm still not back to full health. I'm tiring too easily still.


  1. Awesome and fascinating post! I have read so many books on the Titanic and seen so many documentaries. It continues to fascinate me. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Belfast is a city I've fancied exploring as a day shot from Glasgow. That's good value for your trip Jim and it looks like you had a lovely day for it, weather wise.

  3. You certainly cannot do the exhibition justice in a couple of hours so the teacher and I are going to return in the near future and now definitely on Wednesday.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Morning deer

Morning deer
is someone watching me