Everyone know the story of the Titanic, a doomed ship so well known even James Cameron couldn't resist writing an epic love story about the ship and the decks even as they sank. in 1912 no-one had any idea the RMS Titan would inspire the fictional tale of Jack and Rose, they just knew that the ship was the largest in the world and that it would earn a place in history. Sadly that place was earned through one of the largest naval tragedies to date. The once great symbol of luxury and opulence fell victim to a horrific series of events that underscored the cost of human hubris and felled most of the passengers in a single blow. In Pigeon Forge Tennessee, an incredible Titanic Museum seeks to explore the true stories behind the life, death, and hidden history of this incredible ship.
On April 10th 1912, the British passenger ship known as the RMS Titanic was set to sail from Southampton England to New York City, a common journey for the time period. With over 2,224 passengers and almost 1,000 crew members, the Titanic boasted the largest population of any ship during the time period. Known as the "Millionaire's Captain,' Captain Edward Smith was popular among the upper classes of British Society. With a ship modeled upon expensive hotels of the time period, he was the most logical choice for a captain. For the first fives days of the trip, First class passengers enjoyed the saltwater pool, squash court, Turkish baths and sauna, fully equipped gym and more.
On the 15th of April 1912, the Titanic ran up against an iceberg with the starboard side of the hull. Running behind schedule at the time, it is assumed that Captain Smith was pressing forward due to pressure from the White Star Line, Titanic's parent company. This has often been cited as one of the most compelling reasons for the midnight collision and the speed at which the ship took the majority of the damage it sustained. While SOS signals were quickly sent via flare, five compartments of the ship flooded within mere hours, signaling the doom of the once indestructible luxury liner.
With only 20 lifeboats onboard and each fitting a maximum of 47 people, the Titanic was ill equipped for such a collision. Women and children were herded into the boats, some of whom survived and were rescued by a nearby ship – The RMS Carpathia. At the end of the night, more than 1,500 people were lost to the icy depths. Those who were unable to fit in the boats tried to fashion flotation devices, most of whom met their doom via hypothermia in the 28-degree waters surrounding the boat. Captain Smith and Wallace Hartley, a violinist who led the Titanic's band and encouraged them to play to the end were among the victims that night. Legend has it that the orchestra only ceased their playing as the liner sank beneath the waves, meeting their icy doom. Today the ship still rests upon the ocean floor, scattered as a monument frozen in time.
While the ship itself will always remain at the bottom of the ocean, today there are unique opportunities to experience the decor and opulence of the boat as it once was. The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee offers an interior fashioned after that of the infamous ship. While the museum is only half as large as the ship and very firmly upon land, it holds behind its doors an entire Victorian World.
With to scale recreations and an intense level of attention to historical details, the Titanic Museum is a true replica of the ship. This is the only museum to include a replica of the grand staircase, a 1 million dollar undertaking that matches the original down to the last centimetre. Peppered in among the recreation elements are more than 400 artifacts brought up from the depths of the original Titanic. These include the violin used by Wallace Hartley, a vast collection of life jackets, and a number of personal items used by passengers on the ship. There is even an exhibit that appeals to children – the largest Titanic Lego ship in the world. Everything inside the museum inspires awe and many of the exhibits are of record setting size.
The commitment to detail and lavish decorations transport visitors back in time. The inspiration for the museum captures the first class atmosphere of the boat, carefully avoiding the stifling cabins utilized by third class passengers and the crew. Everyone who enters this beautiful museum in Pigeon Forge can imagine themselves in possession of a first class boarding pass. Eating dancing, and even dressing for the time period allows a truly immersive experience. The museum is even known to host secret dinner parties for lucky guests. These events are held in a hidden dining room that is lavishly decorated and impresses even the most well traveled individuals. Calling the museum at 1-800-381-7670 allows you to schedule your own secret dinner party for you and your friends. Alternatively, go online at www.titanicpigeonforge.com to find out more.
While the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected the offerings of the museum, there are still Christmas packages and tours available. Face masks are currently required. The museum is just five miles from another Pigeon Forge favorite – Dollywood. Located at 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, it's an experience you don't want to miss. After you are done consider expanding your Titanic exploration by visiting the second museum opened by John Joslyn in Branson, Missouri. Joslyn of course being the head of the original 1987 scuba exploration of the Titanic itself!