Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 13:42 UK

Cruise to mark Titanic centenary

Relatives of victims of the Titanic disaster will attend the ceremony

A travel company is to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic with a cruise following the route, it has announced.

The Titanic, built in the Belfast shipyard of Harland and Wolff, sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

The Balmoral, operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, whose parent company now owns H&W, will recreate the voyage.

The 97th anniversary of the sinking was marked with a ceremony in Belfast.

Wreaths were laid at the memorial in the grounds of the City Hall, followed by a minute's silence.

The Belfast memorial, showing Thane looking down on two sea-nymphs with the body of a drowned seaman, was unveiled in 1920 and paid for by public subscription.

Susie Millar, the great grand-daughter of one of Titanic's assistant deck engineers, Tommy Millar, and Ian Frost, grandson of Harland and Wolff engineer Artie Frost, laid a wreath on behalf of the Belfast Titanic Society.

Belfast City Council was represented by High Sheriff Councillor Frank McCoubrey.

The 2012 cruise will follow the route of the Titanic and, on April 14, will arrive at the location the vessel sank some 100 years before, where there will be a special memorial ceremony.

After the service the cruise continues to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where excursions include a visit to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery where 121 Titanic victims are buried, before finally arriving in New York.

Miles Morgan, managing director of Miles Morgan Travel, the company which chartered the Balmoral, expects the 12-night cruise, with prices starting from £2,595, to sell out quickly despite the economic downturn.

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