As the finishing touches are being made to Titanic Belfast, the six-floor building and its surrounding plaza, more than 50,000 tickets have been pre-booked from 20 different countries including America, Australia, New Zealand and even Réunion, the French island in the Indian Ocean.
Northern Ireland’s newest visitor center is a physical presence featuring an architectural design influenced by several maritime themes, including ice crystals, ships' hulls and the insignia of the White Star Line, the owners of the Titanic. Some 3,000 shards make up the building’s exterior while the plaza includes one of the world’s largest outdoor maps of the Northern Hemisphere, tracing Titanic’s route across the Atlantic. And dominating the approach to the building is a 15-ton “Titanic” sign recently winched into place. Laser-cut and made from eight solid-steel plates, the 15-meter-long sign is the same length as the private promenades available on RMS Titanic’s most expensive accommodation, the First Class Parlour Suites. The new sign is also the same weight as Titanic’s main anchor.
Pre-booked ticketed sales include 1,000 group tours, and spaces are quickly running out for the opening day and other key dates during the upcoming Titanic 100 Festival in April. Titanic Belfast features nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the city and people which made her. Visitors will learn about the construction of RMS Titanic and the story of Northern Ireland’s industrial and maritime heritage. The building will also house temporary exhibits, a 1,000-seat banqueting suite, education and community facilities, catering and shopping space and a basement car park. Titanic Belfast will open on March 31.