A LUXURY cruise retracing the route of Titanic across the Atlantic Ocean was delayed yesterday due to high winds.
The MS Balmoral, which is carrying relatives of some of those who died in the 1912 shipping disaster, set off from Southampton on Sunday for Cherbourg and was due to reach Cobh, on the south coast of Ireland, at lunchtime yesterday.
But the journey to Cobh was delayed for a few hours due to stormy conditions, before the ship then set out last night towards the wreck site.
The Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912, before sinking on April 15. Around 1,500 people died when the liner went down.
Meanwhile the home town of Titanic designer Thomas Andrews will commemorate the ill-fated liner this week with a special programme of events.
The Comber Together Titanic Festival is a programme of events running from Thursday to Sunday, and will be hosted by Second Presbyterian Church, Comber, and supported by Ards Borough Council and local businesses in Comber.
The festival’s centrepiece is a collection of themed floral art creations based on the Andrews family motto, ‘always faithful’, by creative directors Barbara Megarry and Hilda McClements, alongside an exhibition of Comber’s rich history. Other highlights include a gala concert with the Queen’s Island Victoria Male Voice Choir, one of the stars of The Priests trio Father Martin O’Hagan, a vintage vehicles display, family fun day, historical walking tours of Comber and a special showing of the iconic Titanic film A Night to Remember.
The festival will culminate with the dedication of a Titanic monument in Comber Square on Saturday and on Sunday there will be a time for reflection at noon in all of Comber’s churches.
Festival director Lawrence Rowan said the festival aims to promote Comber and provide an opportunity to attract visitors from other parts of Northern Ireland as well as further afield.
“It promises a programme of events for all ages, and presents a unique opportunity to explore historic Comber, the birthplace of Thomas Andrews, designer of the Titanic,” he said.
Further information and a programme of events are available from the Ards Tourist Office or by logging on to www.secondcomber.co.uk.
BBC Northern Ireland will show Ryan Versus The White Star Line on BBC One tonight at 10.35pm which chronicles a 1913 court case in which a farmer from Co Limerick who lost his son in the Titanic disaster takes on the White Star Line. Tomorrow night there will be a BBC Newsline Special: A Journey To Remember.