Cruise ship begins journey to retrace Titanic voyage

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Associated Press

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 8 at 10:02 AM

LONDON (AP) — A cruise ship has set sail from Southampton, England, retracing the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic nearly 100 years ago.

The Titanic Memorial Cruise is carrying the same number of passengers -- not including crew -- as the Titanic did. The 1,309 passengers will be at sea for 12 nights, and will visit the location where the Titanic went down.

As the ship prepared to sail, passengers crowded the decks -- many of them dressed in period costumes as first-class passengers, crew members, steerage passengers and stewards.

One man who was dressed as an Edwardian gentleman said he'd been "a fan of the Titanic" since he was nine -- and that "this cruise is the closest you are going to get to it."

Organizers are trying to recreate the onboard experience -- minus the disaster, of course. The food is supposed to be similar, and the band will be playing music from that era.

There will be an onboard memorial service on April 14 to mark the moment Titanic hit the iceberg, and later at the exact moment when the ship sank.

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APPHOTO XAG127: Passengers wave as the MS Balmoral sets sail for the Titanic memorial cruise from Southampton, England, Sunday, April 8, 2012. Nearly 100 years after the Titanic went down, a cruise with the same number of passengers aboard is setting sail to retrace the ship's voyage, including a visit to the location where it sank. The Titanic Memorial Cruise is set to depart Sunday from Southampton, where the Titanic left on its maiden voyage. The 12-night cruise will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the White Star liner. With 1,309 passengers aboard, the MS Balmoral will follow the same route as the Titanic. Organizers are trying to recreate the onboard experience minus the disaster from the food to a band playing music from that era.Organizers said people from 28 countries have booked passage, including relatives of some of the more than 1,500 people who died when the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant) (8 Apr 2012)

<<APPHOTO XAG127 (04/08/12)>>

APPHOTO LON817: The MS Balmoral cruise ship leaves for the Titanic memorial cruise from Southampton, England, Sunday, April 8, 2012. Nearly 100 years after the Titanic went down, a cruise with the same number of passengers aboard is setting sail to retrace the ship's voyage, including a visit to the location where it sank. The Titanic Memorial Cruise is set to depart Sunday from Southampton, where the Titanic left on its maiden voyage. The 12-night cruise will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the White Star liner. With 1,309 passengers aboard, the MS Balmoral will follow the same route as the Titanic. Organizers are trying to recreate the onboard experience minus the disaster from the food to a band playing music from that era. Organizers said people from 28 countries have booked passage, including relatives of some of the more than 1,500 people who died when the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912.(AP Photo/Chris Ison. PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT (8 Apr 2012)

<<APPHOTO LON817 (04/08/12)>>

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