Travel

Wild ireland: shipwreck explorations in belfast

The final morning was much more relaxed than the past week, we even slept in till nine. Having agreed to spend our free morning together going to the Titanic Museum, we piled into the bus and headed for the docklands area of Belfast. Finished in 2012, its only been open for a few years and whilst it keeps a full time Titanic exhibition it also has another gallery space which has been used by Lego and Game of Thrones. We bought tickets for the main attraction itself (don’t forget your student card) in the enormous lobby and made our way to the escalator to the ride entrance, stopping at the photo area where a green screen can place you as Jack and Rose at the bow of the ship, or as boarding passengers.

The first part of the exhibition was about planning for the Titanic, its creators and financiers. The second was about construction featuring an amusement ride with the 360 degree view of the different processes involved. Part three was about how the ship looked, with full replicas of passenger cabins and a projection area where you felt like you were standing on the deck of the ship. The fourth spoke about the passengers and the sinking, with various code written across the ceiling and stories everywhere. Finally there was a section devoted to what would become of the ship had it not sunk, and what had become of its other Cunard ships. A theatre then connected to footage of the sunken titanic by Dr. Robert Ballard, with a  breathtaking floor display so visitors could look down on the ship, as well as touch screens to see the field of objects surrounding the ship. Ballard was at the time on another dive in Mexico and we were able to watch live footage of the exploration, one of the guides told us he’d discovered a new shipwreck the day before and they had been able to watch it live in the Museum. It’s a fantastic experience and enjoyable for everyone with little games worked into many of the sections.

We grabbed lunch together in the Odyssey before leaving for Dublin. It was a sad farewell as we all hugged goodbye, but the experience was fantastic and we have hundreds of photos from our adventure. I’d like to thank Conor and Paul, the best tour guides ever, and a thank you to Killian, Mary and the Turf n’ Surf instructors who made it all possible. It’s amazing how many beautiful sites are just an hours drive from your front door. For anyone thinking of a little staycation I couldn't recommend this more, you will have a blast.

Find out more about TurfNSurf's Wild Ireland tour here.