Titanic Cruise a Tough Sell

Balmoral, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

You have to be a certain type of cruise passenger to want to duplicate the route of the Titanic, apparently. A "Titanic Memorial Cruise", scheduled on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy, has been on sale for a year now. But there's still space available.

The cruise, organized by a British travel agency, is on the 1,350-passenger ship Balmoral, operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. And according to Jen Schak of Minneapolis-based Borton Overseas, the U.S. booking agent, it's only 70% sold out.

Schak said history buffs and others can still book a decent cabin with views from $5,185.

With maritime historians onboard as lecturers, the 22-year-old Balmoral will embark on the cruise from Southampton, UK, on April 8, 2012. After passing by Cherbourg on the French coast, and calling at the Irish port of Cobh, the ship will set sail across the Atlantic.

On April 14, the Balmoral will be positioned at the actual site where the Titanic hit an iceberg a century before, near midnight, and sunk a few hours later. A memorial service will be held on the Balmoral at 2:30 a.m., on April 15, commemorating the 1,500 or so passengers and crew who lost their lives in the infamous tragedy. The modern-day cruise will then continue to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where many onboard the Titanic are buried, and then on to New York, the Titanic's original destination.

The Balmoral is itself no stranger to bad luck. Headlines in the past few years have included the ship being hit repeatedly by a stomach bug, getting battered by 50-foot waves in the Bay of Biscay (off Spain) and just escaping attack by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
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