Travel down to the bottom of the North Atlantic where the "ship of dreams" rests after grazing an iceberg in 1912. The 25,000-square-foot exhibit inside Luxor Las Vegas includes a replica of guest compartments, the grand staircase, and a promenade deck that movie fans will recognize from a little film by James Cameron. Among the 250 emotionally arresting artifacts: luggage, clothing, a bottle of unopened champagne, and pieces of the ship, including a massive section of the iron hull, complete with bulging rivets and portholes.
Sep 9, 2014
I have been fascinated by the story of the Titanic since I was a young boy. As an adult, I’ve marveled at how a catastrophe of that magnitude could ever occur, especially when it seemed so preventable. I was absolutely enthralled at the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition inside the Luxor at Las Vegas. Very few exhibitions can compare to how well-done this was. Immediately, we were pulled into the haunting setting of the Titanic. When we arrived,
we each received a “boarding pass” of an actual passenger aboard the Titanic with a description of who he or she was. At first, the setting was a bit upbeat, even exciting as descriptions, photos, and artifacts demonstrated the buzz surrounding the creation and launch of this world-class ship. As we progressed, however, the tone became more somber as the doom of the “unsinkable ship” unfolded. One of my favorite areas was the pitch black Promenade Deck room where you stand on a life-size portion of the Titanic’s deck and look out over the edge at hundreds of “stars.” There was also a room with a massive block of ice that you could touch which represented the glacier into which the Titanic crashed. The centerpiece of the entire exhibition may be the full-scale replica of the Grand Staircase which is incredible! The tragedy of the event really struck me in that room, picturing this majestic and exquisite staircase, with all it represented, at the bottom of the ocean. There was also an entire room devoted to a massive, 26-by-20-foot fragment of the ship’s hull along with video and descriptions of how the piece was excavated (and how the first attempt failed!). I loved how every single artifact had a description next to it, even the tiniest things. As far as I’m concerned, the more information the better! The artifacts really added to the personal connection and reality of the tragedy. I also really liked the stories of passengers displayed on the walls throughout the exhibition. They would speak of how, by complete chance or luck (or fate!), certain passengers would end up on the Titanic. At the end of the exhibition, a wall displays all 2,223 passengers and crew members, which class they were in, and whether they lived or died. The man represented on my ticket had died along with all of his family members. I cannot recommend the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition highly enough. It was incredible.