In the early 1900s, the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Northern Ireland’s capital was abuzz as workers toiled to finish the highly anticipated RMS Titanic. Here are some ways to relive the stories from Belfast’s shipbuilding golden age at sites connected to the ill-fated cruise liner.
Opened in 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy, this state-of-the-art museum uses innovative interpretive exhibits to chart the city’s rise as a shipbuilding hub. Take the exhilarating shipyard ride through a re-creation of the original Harland and Wolff shipyards, browse interactive exhibits chronicling the construction of the doomed ocean liner, and hear moving accounts from survivors of the tragedy as part of the Titanic Experience.
Guided walking tours of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter lead visitors to locales associated with the famous ship. See the former Harland and Wolff drawing offices where the plans for the Titanic were created (now a boutique hotel) and visit the slipways from where the Titanic set out to sea.
Titanic Dock and Pump House
Descend to the floor of the large dry dock, which was purpose-built to house the colossal liner and now serves as a visitor attraction. It was here where the finishing touches were made to the Titanic before it embarked on its maiden voyage.
Built as a tender ship for White Star Line ocean liners, the SS Nomadic carried passengers to the Titanic from the port at Cherbourg, France, which was too small to accommodate the famous cruise ship. After a colorful career that included serving in both World Wars as well as hosting a floating restaurant on the Seine in Paris, the Nomadic, which has been refitted to appear how it would back back in 1912, is now permanently stationed in Belfast.
It was here on the River Lagan that the Titanic was first launched into the water in 1911, almost a year before it set off from Southampton, England for its maiden voyage. Titanic enthusiasts can take a boat tour along the Lagan, cruising past the waterside Titanic Quarter—where they can glimpse attractions such as the Titanic Slipways and the Titanic Belfast—along with other maritime sights, including the HMS Caroline, a decommissioned World War I cruiser, and Stormont Wharf, the modern-day cruise port of Belfast city.