Relatives of Titanic Victims To Join Centenary Cruise

It's been revealed relatives of people who died on the Titanic are among those who will board a cruise to mark the 2012 centenary of the disaster.

A special ceremony will take place on board the cruise ship Balmoral 100 years on from the exact time the Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic on the night of April 15 1912.

The Balmoral will retrace the route taken by Titanic, leaving from Southampton on April 8 2012 and sailing to New York.

Among those on board will be author Arthur Cropley, the great-nephew of Charles Herbert Lightoller, the second officer on the Titanic who survived the sinking.

Among those whose relatives died on the Titanic and who will be sailing on the Balmoral is Jane Allen from Devon.

She said: "We booked as we wish to commemorate our relative, Thomas Pears, who died on the Titanic. His story has been a big part of our lives. His widow Edith survived in Lifeboat 8.''

Mr Cropley will be among those giving lectures on board as will Philip Littlejohn, grandson of Titanic survivor Alexander James Littlejohn.

Mr Littlejohn, who has made a dive to the wreck site, said:

"I'm sure my grandfather, a first class steward on the Titanic, would be proud to know his story will be shared with the passengers on the Balmoral. It will be an emotional moment when we are over the wreck site, where I dived in 2001.''

Normally operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, the Balmoral was chartered for the commemorative cruise by UK company Miles Morgan Travel.

The cruise attracted bookings from around the world, including people from Australia and South America.

Those on board will have food based on the dishes served in April 1912 and music and entertainment will reflect the era.