The sinking of the Titanic is something we've all heard about either in stories or in the many movies that have been made about it. Museums featuring artifacts from that tragic voyage can be seen in many places, though they're usually temporary exhibits. The Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri is unlike any other because it's made to look like the outside of the Titanic and it's the only permanent Titanic museum.
The outside of the museum is a replica of the original ship built to half-scale. At two stories tall with twenty galleries and over 400 artifacts from the real Titanic, there is much to see and experience as you tour this wonderful museum.
As you enter the museum, you are given a passenger boarding ticket. This ticket contains the name of a real passenger from the Titanic and tells which class they were traveling. This is intriguing as you walk through the museum and see the reproductions of a first class stateroom and a third class cabin, along with original artifacts that survived that tragic voyage. You get a sense of what the trip was like for those with money and those without.
For many visitors, the main highlight is a replica of the Grand Staircase. Since pictures of it have been shown so many times, you almost get the sense that you've been there before. It's a bit of a surreal feeling to walk on the staircase and imagine what it was like to have been on the original ship. There is a reason it was called the "Grand Staircase", as it truly is grand in every way. It is absolutely beautiful.
The items that survived are all connected to either a passenger or one of the crew members. It's emotional to see these things and the names of the people the items belonged to. Who were these people? What was their story and what were their dreams as they sailed on this magnificent ship? For me, those questions often came to mind.
There is an interactive bridge that you can walk at various angles to see how difficult it was for the passengers. You can touch a iceberg and put your hand in 28 degree water to get a sense of the events of that night and what the passengers went through. It was emotional, yet fascinating to see and experience these things, like being able to step back in time.
As you reach the end of your tour, you will find the Memorial Wall, which is where you will learn the fate of the passenger whose name was on the boarding pass you were given. This moment for me was quite emotional and I noticed that others around me reacted much the same.
An audio tour is available, told by actual survivors. I highly recommend using this.
This is a very popular tourist site in Branson and because of the crowds, it is sometimes difficult to get in. If you can, plan ahead and buy tickets in advance and you'll be certain to get in when you want.
Groups of school children are constant visitors to the Titanic Museum, something they can see and experience in person instead of reading about it.
For those who wish to do something unusual, you can be married or renew your wedding vows on the Grand Staircase.
As someone who has always been fascinated by this story, I was quite anxious to tour the museum and I was not disappointed.