As the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic approaches, many of those who share a passion for Titanic are setting course for Branson, Missouri, home of the Titanic Museum. Indeed, the museum, which celebrates the ship with a wide variety of activities and historical displays, has experienced an marked uptick in interest as the April 15th anniversary date approaches. And while the sunken ship is certainly well out of reach for those who wish to set foot on her glorious decks, the Branson Titanic is as close as one can get. It is for that reason that this Branson, Missouri attraction is slated to be the epicenter for Titanic enthusiasts in memorializing the centennial of the downfall of this unsinkable ship.
The Branson Titanic was the brainchild of John Joslyn, who is the museum’s proprietor. Joslyn has held a long-time interest for all-things Titanic, and 25 years ago, helped lead an expedition to the site of the sunken ship. Over the course of this month and a half long expedition, Joslyn gathered an immense knowledge of the ship, and his interest evolved into an obsession. Sprung from this dedication to the Titanic was his desire to share with guests of the Titanic museum as realistic of an experience as possible, so that they can truly feel what it was like for passengers onboard not only during the ship’s final hours, but also, during the joyous time immediately following its departure.
Visitors to the Branson Titanic are allowed the opportunity to experience a unique personalized voyage which fosters an emotional and intimate connection for them. At the start of the tour, each guest is provided with a replica of the boarding pass of one Titanic passenger. At the conclusion of the tour, in the museum’s Memorial Room, guests learn the fate of the passenger whose boarding pass they have been holding, and who they have typically developed an emotional connection with over the course of the tour.
The museum holds one of the largest single collections of Titanic memorabilia in the world. In addition, visitors to the Branson Titanic can also ascend an exact replica of the glorious Titanic Grand Staircase, made famous yet again in recent years by the movie Titanic featuring Kate Winslett and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Branson Titanic has also launched an engaging online feature entitled, “100 Days of True Titanic Stories”. As part of this project, on each day, beginning at the start of 2012, the true story of a single passenger or family who were lost aboard the ill-fated luxury liner is told by Jaynee, the modern-day representation of a first-class maid aboard the ship. The stories are being released on the Branson Titanic website at www.TitanicBranson.com.
The Branson Titanic also features a sizeable exhibit dedicated to one of Titanic’s most colorful passengers, Margaret Tobin Brown, typically known by the moniker “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. Brown, despite her immense wealth, was frowned upon by many of her fellow first class passengers because she was considered “new wealth”. She was a native Missourian, and after surviving Titanic’s demise, Brown used her wealth to establish a program dedicating to providing support to orphans who lost their parents onboard the ship.
This is the year to visit the Branson Titanic. Whether visiting for the first time, or making a return voyage, the museum is chock-full of new and engaging exhibits surrounding this centennial. Anyone with the chance to punch a ticket to this first-class exhibition should take the opportunity to do so.