A visit to Ireland isn’t complete without a trip to the Titanic Museum. Our original trip itinerary did not include a stop in Belfast, but as the trip approached it became obvious that we needed to make a visit to the museum. We spent our last full day in Ireland exploring the Titanic Experience and SS Nomadic. The museum is a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage and its most famous ship, the Titanic.
Since opening in 2012, the Titanic Museum in Belfast has been a top tourist attraction! The museum is a short train ride from Dublin, our train from Dublin to Belfast took two hours. The rail company offers trains between Dublin and Belfast several times a day. We walked the mile or so from the Belfast train station to the museum and stopped for lunch at Raincheck along the way. Raincheck is located in the heart of the Titanic Quarter and offers a variety of sandwiches at a reasonable price.
Admission to the museum costs $24.00 but includes access to the SS Nomadic. Don’t worry, before our visit I didn’t know who/what the SS Nomadic was/is!
We started our day with the Titanic Experience. The Titanic Experience is a self-guided tour through the history of the Titanic, the tour includes nine interactive exhibits and begins in 1900s Belfast. Belfast was a booming nautical town that undertook the building and launching of the Titanic. After a review of the history of Belfast, visitors are shown the original construction plans for the cruise liner.
The museum then walks visitors through the launch of the Titanic from the Belfast port. Over 100,000 people were on hand to see the Titanic launch from the Belfast port. After the launch, the exhibit moves to the Titanic’s maiden voyage, a short trip from Belfast to Southampton. Guests of the museum are able to see cabins for each of the class ranges on the boat and read stories about the Titanic passengers.
The museum’s exhibits on the sinking and the aftermath of the Titanic were powerful. Guests are able to see full-size replicas of the lifeboats and life-jackets used by Titanic survivors! It’s in the aftermath exhibits that guests can search the Titanic passenger roster and determine if they had any relatives aboard the ship.
The last two exhibits of the museum feature the myths of the Titanic and the discovery of the Titanic wreckage. The myths portion of the museum features movies, television shows, legends, and music based on the Titanic’s voyage. The discovery section allows visitors the opportunity to view the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean and view a 3D movie of the crew’s discovery.
At first, we had no intention of visiting the small tender but changed our minds. The SS Nomadic was a small tender commissioned by White Star Line to serve the Titanic. She ferried passengers, mail, supplies, and the crew to the Titanic. The SS Nomadic was outfitted to match the Titanic and had all the luxuries of the main ship. After visiting the Titanic Museum, the SS Nomadic is a surreal experience. You’re able to walk the decks and explore the Nomadic, one of the last vessels that Titanic guests stepped foot onto.
After the sinking of the Titanic, the SS Nomadic went into military service and served warships before her retirement. The Titanic Museum has done an excellent job in restoring her to her Titanic era glory and honored her military past.
- Amanda is a native of Richmond, VA. She enjoys writing, blogging, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.