Okay, for this next post, it does not really need any introduction, because my hometown is sadly but proudly associated with the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. People from all over the world throng into our little corner to see the last port of call of this fateful ship.
Queenstown, as our town was called from 1849 -1921, was named in honour of Queen Victoria’s visit to Cobh. And it was on April 11, 1912 when 123 passengers were ferried by tender boats to the ocean liner for the last time. Some of them were lucky to survive, of course, but the big story had always been the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic.
The “experience” begins on the original White Star Line Ticket Office, the original office for the point of departure on the Ireland stop. As of this writing, the Titanic Experience is for prebooking only and scheduled for reopening on 26th of May for small groups only, For more info, go to their website here.
Your entry ticket is a facsimile of the boarding card by one of these Queenstown passengers. Be sure to keep this because at the end of the tour you will know whether the passenger on your ticket had survived or not.
Live the History – Feel the Story. This is aptly the theme of your guided tour. Check out the room disparity and onboard conditions between a third class and first class passenger. Yes, a real life Jack and Rose depiction.
There are more stories to be told, but the most poignant for me, up to this day, is the tale of the 39 year old Margaret Rice and her 5 young sons. Wanting to return to America, Brave Margaret and all her sons (Eugene being the youngest at just 2 years of age), sadly did not realize their dream.
The whole tour and exhibit pride itself as being passenger-based, real stories of people that will make your visit a very intimate one. Storyboards, audio and visual presentation would put you on the shoes of these memorialized characters. And combined with techy saviness, be wowed and shaken experiencing the sinking of the Titanic in a one of a kind cinematography.
The Titanic story won’t be complete without saying a prayer to the Heartbreak Pier, the last land contact of the 123 departing passengers. This is too emotional to look at but I love this pier in all its dilapidated beauty!
Right next to the White Star Line Ticket Office is The Promenade or Kennedy Park. Sit, unwind and watch the vessels go by on this waterfront park just as this sculpture “The Navigator” has been watching the seafarers to safety.
A famous son of Cork, Antartic explorer and member of the Terra Nova Expedition, Robert Forde is also memorialized in the park and is buried on Old Church Cemetery here in Cobh.
The focal point of the Promenade is the 100 year old octagonal bandstand, a cast and wrought iron Victorian structure. The picture below does not do justice to the bandstand but on a different time and on a different circumstances this band stage is very much alive with music and merriment.
*Just a quick update, the bandstand is back to holding summer weekend live music and occasional events and also the whole park has seen an increase of tourist since the restrictions has been lifted.
I hope you enjoy this local trip with me. Here are a few FAQs and tips to make your visit enjoyable and stress free.
- There’s wheelchair access to The Titanic Experience and a wheelchair ramp at the Promenade.
- There’s public toilet at the Promenade.
- On-street paid parking. 2 free-to-park-all-day parking, just follow “P” sign in town.
*Get updated with some Cobh news here.