Memory trails


Mrs R drew my attention to an advert in the paper.

“Departs 8 April 2012… Titanic memorial cruise… 12 night voyage of a lifetime… will follow RMS Titanic’s original itinerary, calling into the Irish port of Cobh, before sailing across the Atlantic… we will arrive at the Titanic site on April 14/15 exactly 100 years on from this tragic voyage…” etc

I checked the details online. There are still places available, from £2,750 per person… I’m not tempted. They say that lightning never strikes twice, but icebergs?

I’m now trying to work out how long you have to wait before disaster tourism becomes acceptable. 100 years after the Titanic tragedy it seems reasonable to see it as history. I admit to visiting the battlefields of the First World War without feeling mawkish. The Killing Fields of Cambodia attract many respectful tourists. But is there an unwritten rule about how much time must elapse before the marketing can start?

I haven’t seen any adverts for tours of the Tsunami coast of the Indian Ocean, or the Lockerbie memorial flight, but in another 80 years, 40 years, 20 years…?

4 Responses to “Memory trails”

  1. I was then going to say those type of tours probably wouldn’t pull in too many people but I’ve had a re-think on that. They probably would do quite well, they would appeal to some people’s morbid nature.
    The titanic journey..not my thing, as you say lightning strike twice and all that. I’d be uber paranoid about icebergs….might be a voyage of a lifetime but I wouldn’t want it to be the last thing I do!

  2. Having visited Cambodian genocide sites it struck me that seeing the locations 30 years after the event was actually a greater elapsed time than my visiting the D-Day beaches 25 years after the slaughter there. The latter were certainly “marketed” in a Gallic fashion, but maybe it’s more acceptable to commemorate deaths in the name of liberation than less easily explained genocide.
    From also travelling along the Tsunami affected Indian coastline the scars are visible, but there were no memorials and no mentions of the event made by our guides or local people we met.

  3. 3 Mrs R

    It wasn’t so much the fact that the tour visits a place where so many people lost their lives that got me as the way it was marketed as following exactly the same itinerary. I had visions of a full-scale re-enactment and was wondering if they were planning to have enough lifeboats for everybody this time around.

  4. When I read Alex’s blog Mrs R I must confess I had the exact same thought about the lifeboats!

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