Halifax Hoping for 'Titanic' Tourist Rise


Two days after the Titanic sank in 1912, a cable-repair ship sailed from this Nova Scotia city with a sad cargo: blocks of ice, embalming fluid and stacks of empty coffins.

Two weeks later, the Mackay-Bennett was back, bearing 190 bodies pulled from the North Atlantic. Most were buried here.

Now Halifax hopes to convert that tie, and a new museum exhibit, into a tourist boom in this year of Hollywood-fueled Titanic-mania.

The biggest group of Titanic graves--121--is at Fairview Cemetery. Since the movie "Titanic" opened, 60 to 70 people have been coming daily, said Dan Conlin, a curator at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.

Items brought back by aid ships are in the museum's new permanent Titanic exhibit. Highlights include a Titanic deck chair; a wooden newel post and balustrade; and two pages from a log kept by a Newfoundland wireless operator that describe attempts to aid the stricken ship. Admission is free through May 31, about $3.40 June 1 to Oct. 15. Information: telephone (902) 424-7490.

Hard-core "Titanic" fans with lots of cash may want to check out another travel option: a chance to join a scientific expedition to the Titanic wreck, starting Aug. 2. The trip is limited to 60 people, each paying about $30,000 and up. Information: tel. (888) 772-2366.

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