The Titanic Museum: A Step Back in Time
You step aboard a magnificent ship; you are leaving on a transatlantic voyage to New York. The year is 1912. On one night of your journey, you feel the mighty vessel beginning to tilt. You hear the eerie sound of rushing cold water pouring down a staircase. It's easy to get caught up in history in this interactive museum that tells the story of history's most infamous maritime disaster.
The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge is one of the most unique interactive museums in the Smokies. Built in 2010, this multi-million dollar museum (25 million to be exact) houses the largest permanent collection of artifacts from the Titanic.
Over 400 artifacts, some carried by surviving passengers and other items recovered from the icy depths, are displayed here. As you tour the museum you will learn the stories of passengers who experienced this tragedy. There is plenty to love about this museum that tells such a compelling story in a respectful and thoughtful way.
The Titanic Museum Experience
Upon stepping aboard the Titanic museum, which is a scaled down model replica of the boat, you will learn the story of the Titanic beginning in the massive shipyards of Belfast to its sinking in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. At the beginning of your journey, visitors are assigned a profile of an actual passenger who boarded the Titanic in South Hampton England on April 10, 1912.
All in all, the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge prides itself on being place that brings history alive. Helpful staff are dressed in period costume are are available to answer any questions you may have about the exhibits or the history of the Titanic. There are both actual artifacts belonging to passengers onboard as well as full scale recreations of rooms on board. Some notable artifacts on display include:
- A Pocket Watch – This artifact was recovered from the wreckage that is frozen 15 minutes after the Titanic sank.
- A Bible – The only Bible saved from the sinking Titanic.
- Instruments – Played Onboard the Vessel.
- A Chair – Recovered From the Deck of the Titanic
- Keys to Passenger's Rooms
- And More!
Inside the museum are full-scale recreations of rooms and artifacts onboard the ship. These recreations have been carried out extremely well and achieve the highest degrees of historical accuracy.
- The Grand Stair Case – An exact replica of the extravagant staircase onboard the Titanic and was constructed using original blueprints. This recreation alone was a 1 million dollar project.
- The First Class Parlor Room – See how the other half lived in 1912.
- Third Class Quarters – The cramped quarters of passengers with 3rd class tickets.
- A Full Scale Anchor – Weighing in at 15.5 tons.
The Titanic Museum has gone the extra mile to make itself a truly living display of history and is filled with highly interactive exhibits. These include:
- The Boiler Room – Where you can learn about the inner workings of the ship and shovel coal into the boiler.
- A Life Raft – Visitors can sit in a replica life raft that ferried many passengers to safety.
- A Flooded Stairwell – Imagine the terror of seeing water rushing down a stairwell.
- The Captain's Deck – Learn to send an SOS from the helm and touch an iceberg.
- The Cold Room – A Room that recreates the conditions on the night the Titanic sunk. Feel the chilling air and dip your hand into icy water chilled to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. These are the same conditions passengers had to struggle to survive in.
- The Tilting Room – Feel what passengers experienced as the sinking Titanic tilted a full 45 degrees.
At the end of your journey, you will learn the fate of the passenger that you were assigned at the beginning of your journey. Since more than half of the 2,208 passengers onboard perished, this part of the museum is sobering to say the least.
Tips For Visiting the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge
Reserve Your Tickets - This is one of the most popular museum attractions in the area. On a busy day, over 3,000 visitors will tour the exhibits here. To ensure that guests enjoy a quality experience, the museum limits how many guests can enter at anyone time. To ensure you are able to see this fantastic museum, be sure to reserve tickets in advance.
Save On Tickets – A great way to save on tickets is to purchase a family pass. This pass covers two adults and up to four children ages 5 to 12. Adult tickets alone are $26 while kids can get in for $12.50. A Family pass offers real savings at only $67. There are military discounts available.
Time – A full tour of the exhibits in the Titanic usually ranges from 1 and a half to 2 hours. For those interested in history, it can take quite a while to read all the informative exhibits (which is well worth your while.)
Families with Children – The exhibits and displays in this museum are highly informative and detailed. Some young children may get a bit restless in this museum. There is an interactive playground for children known as the Tot-Titanic.
Audio Tours – For an additional 6 dollars, you can enjoy a self-paced audio tour of the museum. This is a great way to learn more about the artifacts and exhibits. The audio tour is also a great option for children who are just learning to read.
Best Time To Visit – The Titanic Museum is open from 9 AM to 8 PM daily. The best time to tour the museum, especially in the peak summer season, is to begin your tour around 6 PM. This way, you can enjoy a less crowded visit to this excellent museum.
Photos – One downside of visiting this excellent museum is that photos are not allowed. Many of the artifacts in the collection here are extremely valuable and are personal objects belonging to passengers who perished on that fateful night over 100 years ago.
Final Thoughts on the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum
In short, the Titanic Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the experience of what passengers experienced on that fateful evening. In one word, the Titanic museum experience is moving. The respectful portrayal of those who survived and those who perished at sea is tasteful and honors their stories in every way. If you are interested in history, ships, or just the Titanic in particular, you are guaranteed to love this museum in the Smoky Mountains.
Written by Hayden Brown