We found ourselves in the little town of Cobh, Ireland, known in the past as Queenstown, where the mighty Titanic made it’s last port of call before heading to America. Cobh was the portal to the new world, travelers from all over Ireland came here to start their new life by journeying to America.
The original White Star Line Ticket office building still stands as the center point of town and the Titanic Experience gives visitors an opportunity to take a journey back in time with a tour of the building and the stories of the people who boarded the Titanic in Cobh.
Of all the passengers on board the Titanic, 123 joined at the last port of call. This number included 7 2nd class passengers and three 1st class passengers. The rest would take up occupation in the 3rd class cabin. They came from all corners of Ireland to Cobh. Saying good-bye to their homelands and loved ones in pursuit of a new life.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Ireland (Travel Guide)
The Titanic Experience
We easily parked our rental car across the street and made our way over to the old white star ticket office now home of the Titanic Experience. It was pretty cool to think we were stepping in the foot tracks of some of the Titanic passengers as they stumbled into the building to check in.
From the minute you set foot into the building to buy your ticket you are transported back to April 11th 1912. One process that I felt was really neat was upon buying our tickets we became a traveler on the Titanic. We received our ticket and also received a name of a real passenger who boarded the Titanic at this very same place.
The card provided all the details about the passenger you would follow, how old they were, where they lived and what class they traveled in. At the end of the tour, we would see if we survived or perished when the Titanic sank.
For the experience I was Mr. Bernard Mccoy, age 24 and a 3rd class passenger. Lina was Margaret Madigan, age 21 and also a 3rd class passenger.
Our group entered the main entrance hall where we were met by the conductor who was responsible for the passengers. He briefed us on the boarding procedures for the Titanic and told us to go get moving to board. We headed outside to the overlook near the bay.
Our guide explained how the dingy boats would have been docked behind the building and how the passengers would not have mixed. The Titanic would have been hidden behind the large island across from the building, meaning it didn’t actually pull up to the White Star Line building. This was an effort to save time from having to bring in the ship and then turn it around. It was easier to shuttle the 123 passengers to the ship.
We headed back into the building, where we could see what a third class cabin was like. It was small and reminded me of the side of a three person bunk on a train. It had enough room for you to sit on your bed and sleep. They had large gathering spaces where everyone would hang out. On the wall was a list of what they had to eat, which was a luxury for them as it was the first ship to ever offer catered food to third class.
Moving on, we ended up in a first class room. This was much larger with sitting areas and other amenities that the lower classes did not have. Here we were met by the conductor who told us we should not be there, so we headed to the sinking room.
This room played us a video showing the details of how the Titanic struck the iceberg and then sank into the Atlantic Ocean. I believe this was to get us into the mood of the boat sinking. The next room contained the main display hall with interactive programs, displays and artifacts from the sinking of the Titanic.
The last hall afforded us the opportunity to see if we survived the Titanic sinking or if we went down with the ship. I quickly made my way to the computer where the whole list of 123 passengers who boarded Cobh was listed. As I punched in my name I could feel goose bumps creeping up my spine.
Once I found my name I clicked on it. I had survived and I was able to learn more about how my passenger started his new life in America. Now it was Lina’s turn to plunk in her name and find out if she was survivor. Well it turns out…she survived too.
Plan You Own Visit to the Titanic Experience
The overall experience was good for all ages; I really liked how each person became a member of the ship. Be sure to allow two hours to enjoy this experience. Weekdays can be busy with many school children, so make sure you have time to adjust around those tours or come first thing in the morning. Parking right in front on the street is simple and easy. First hour is free after that it’s metered.
Cost Per Ticket
Adult $9.50, Child $5.50, Senior $7.50
Family 2 Adults up to 4 children $24.00
9:00 Am to 6:00 PM last guide tour 5:15
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