TITANIC: The Artifact Exhibition
“A NIGHT TO REMEMBER”
“I’m king of the world!”
-Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in the film Titanic
On the prow of the Titanic, third-class (and therefore destined to die) passenger Jack Dawson experiences one of the best moments of his life (at least until he gets to smooch Kate Winslet).
In a fit of ecstasy, he shouts “I’m king of the world!” giving Titanic, a small independent film you may have seen, the catchphrase it so desperately needed. (I’m kidding, of course. Don’t yell at me, James Cameron.)
FAB FACT: Leonardo DiCaprio’s famous line wasn’t in the script! The actor made the line up on the spot and now it’s in the ‘American Film Institute’s’ list of the top 100 movie quotes of all time.
I recently had the distinct privilege to attend by invitation only a viewing of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in conjunction with BODIES…The Exhibition here in fabulous Las Vegas. I am embarrassed to admit that I had yet to visit these two-marvelous exhibit showcases that have been ensconced in a pyramid here in my own backyard “Strip side” at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. In short order, it became abundantly clear to me why Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit has been viewed by 25 million visitors, making it one of the most-attended exhibitions in history. The 25,000-square-foot exhibit has over 250 authentic artifacts recovered from the wreck, and even sports a full-scale re-creation of the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, where you can get married (Hello Leo? Is anyone there?) or have your picture taken. Breathtaking to say the least.
FAB FACT: The Grand Staircase on board descended down seven of the ship’s 10 decks and featured oak paneling, bronze cherubs and paintings. Replicas can also be found at the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri.
The 25,000-square-foot exhibit features numerous items from the Titanic, including luggage, the ship’s whistles, floor tiles from the first-class smoking room, a window frame from the Verandah Cafe and an unopened bottle of champagne with a 1900 vintage. In addition, the exhibit features a piece of Titanic’s hull! This 20-ton piece of the ship’s hull was brought to the surface from the wreckage and very carefully preserved. The display has several informative signs that show you where on the ship this piece came from, including where each port hole led to. This is an amazing piece of history that upon viewing firsthand will help you to keep a sense of proportion for the magnitude of this disaster.
These actual artifacts, recovered from two and one half miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, tell the story behind the legendary Titanic’s short journey from construction and destruction to eventual recovery. Complete with the frigid temperatures felt on that fateful April night, you will walk her decks, peer into her cabins and meet her passengers and crew. Ominous indeed.
FAB FACT: The RMS Titanic was the world’s largest passenger ship when it entered service, measuring 269 meters (882 feet) in length, and the largest man-made moving object on Earth. The largest passenger vessel is now the MS Allure of the Seas, at 362 meters.
Described as a floating palace, the incomparable Titanic was deemed “practically unsinkable” by the White Star Line and its builders. However, on a calm April night in 1912, the massive luxury liner struck an iceberg and slowly sank into the North Atlantic. Since then, many items from the wreckage have been recovered and added to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.
FAB FACT: The iceberg was around 100 feet tall and came from a glacier in Greenland.
The personal artifacts on display offer haunting, emotional connections to the forever-altered lives of those on board the Titanic. Visitors even have a chance to walk through authentically re-created first- and third-class rooms, with furnishings by original manufacturers.
Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you’re here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on
-My Heart Will Go On (Céline Dion)
Keeping a clear conscious, I would be remiss if I did not intertwine Las Vegas headliner, Céline Dion, and her connection to all things Titanic in this blog. Thanks to the movie Titanic, the hit song My Heart Will Go On and Céline Dion are as synonymous with the ship as the iceberg and “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown. This rapturous song was the only song to be found on the final soundtrack to James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster drama that sailed on to become the largest-grossing movie ever — at least until Cameron’s Avatar in 2009 — the Dion power ballad made historic waves of its own.
Written by Oscar-winning composer James Horner, the pop tune was the world’s best-selling single of 1998, has sold more than 15 million copies since, won four Grammy Awards, won an Oscar for best original song and ranks No. 14 on the America Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest movie songs. This is one mega single that will not go down with the ship! (Heard nightly at Caesars Palace Circus Maximus Theatre.)
Las Vegas DMC, Destination Fabulous, highly recommends this tour for your next visit or group activity. You and your guests will be met with a wide-ranging set of emotions as you are immersed into the greatest sea drama in living memory. TITANIC… “A NIGHT TO REMEMBER.”
Stay the course,
p.s. “A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.”
My Heart Will Go On (Céline Dion) – Songwriters: HORNER, JAMES / JENNINGS, WILL
My Heart Will Go On lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group