This week I spent a good two hours at the Branson Titanic Museum Attraction and I wish I could have stayed longer. The museum is absolutely packed with informative and interactive exhibits that take you on a journey through the construction of the British passenger liner, provide context within the time period and most importantly, tell the stories of the those lives that became intertwined with the legendary ship that was deemed “unsinkable.”
Immediately upon entering the museum, you’ll be immersed in the experience with the opportunity to touch a real iceberg. Staff will tell you to rub it three times for good luck and those three quick rubs will leave your hand feeling pretty numb.
My tour through the museum was self-guided but each guest is given a handheld device that is used like a phone. Many of the exhibits throughout the Titanic are marked with a number on a small, circular sign. Each time you see one, you simply punch in the number, hit the green button and hold the device to your ear for additional audio explanations of the current exhibit. It’s a neat way to take in even more information and it’s a good addition for those who’d rather listen to the information than read it.
The museum’s exhibits and authentic artifacts recovered from the ship’s wreckage really make it clear that the focus is on the people who were aboard the Titanic. You’ll see personal items like handbags, authentic boarding passes and dining schedules, jewelry, photographs and one of the nine lifejackets still in existence today. In fact, when you visit the Branson Titanic, you become one of those very people as you receive a boarding pass with the name and story of a real passenger that boarded the ship.
I became Charlotte Cardeza, a multi-millionaire 1st class passenger with more luggage than any other passenger on the ship. There was even a photo of me in one of the exhibits overseeing the loading of all my possessions onto the Titanic. One of the crew members told me that I occupied the largest suite on the ship, which was similar to the suite that Rose had in the 1997 James Cameron film Titanic. Throughout my whole tour I was anxious to find out if I survived the ordeal or not and according to the final exhibit in the Memorial Room, I did make it. But 1,500 others were not so lucky.
The entire museum makes for a humbling experience that will transport you back in time for a brief moment as you experience first hand what it was like to be a passenger of the Titanic. While I was there I was able to feel the frigid 28 degree water that swallowed the ship, play the baby grand piano in the exhibit dedicated to the musicians onboard, experience the sloping decks of the ship’s stern, shovel coal into the Titanic’s boiler room, walk through the third class corridor, steer the ship from the captain’s bridge and sit in a life size lifeboat while listening to the passengers tell their stories.
An experience at this museum is almost too great to describe with words — it’s one that you need to experience for yourself. And an afternoon aboard the RMS Titanic is sure to educate and entertain all those who take the time to walk through it all while honoring and celebrating the lives of passengers and crew from around the world.
For tickets and more information, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/buyTitanicTickets.cfm.
The Branson Titanic Museum Attraction is located at 3235 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, nextdoor to Montana Mike’s Steakhouse and across the street from the Clay Cooper Theatre.