Jewels of Titanic
Through May 31, see 15 of the most prestigious artifacts recovered from the R.M.S. Titanic including diamonds, sapphires, pearls and gold jewelry that once belonged to some of the wealthiest passengers.
If you loved the 1997 movie "Titanic," then the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor will blow you away.
Featuring more than 300 artifacts, as well as breathtaking replicas from the famous ship, the Titanic exhibit truly brings history to life.
The exhibit features 20 never-before-seen artifacts including gaming chips, passenger papers and even decorative sections from Titanic's famous Grand Staircase. In addition, there are many personal pieces within the exhibit.
One of the most heartfelt elements of the exhibit is the personal stories of the passengers. During the tour, the exhibit's staff shares personal tales from the passengers. Some stories have a tragic, yet romantic ending. For instance, some wives chose to stay behind with their husbands instead of climbing onto the lifeboats.
"I think seeing all the personal effects from all the people that perished was very touching," said Noelle Dunn, a visitor from Jacksonville, Fla.
At the beginning of the exhibit, patrons receive a boarding pass of an actual passenger on Titanic. On the back of each boarding pass is the age and the itinerary of that person. At the end of the tour, patrons find out if he or she survived the Titanic by finding the name on the wall memorial.
The exhibit also includes passenger quotes. One of the most poignant sayings came from Jack Thayer, a first-class passenger: "There was no moon and I never seen the stars shine brighter," he said. "It was the kind of night that made one feel glad to be alive."
Titanic Fast Facts
705 passengers survived, but 1,523 were lost.
Even if all 20 lifeboats had been filled to capacity, there was only room in them for 1,178 people.
The Titanic was the largest moving object of its time.
It cost $7.5 million to build Titanic and carried a $5 million insurance policy. It would have cost about $400 million to build the ship today.
More than 10,000 men worked on the Titanic for nearly three years to construct the hull and internal structure.
More than 100,000 people gathered to watch the Titanic sail off to New York.
For a third-class passenger, a ticket was $40 ($770 today). For a first-class passenger, tickets were $4,500 a piece ($90,000 today).
It took about 60 pounds of coal for the ship to move 60 feet.
In addition to the passengers' stories, other fascinating details include their belongings.
From a diamond and sapphire ring to a platinum pendant with diamonds, some of the most beautiful pieces recovered from the Titanic are sparkling jewelry. The jewels were conserved -- not restored -- and many of the dazzling gems managed to keep their original luster.
Aside from jewelry, plenty of the Titanic passengers brought their own china and silverware. Each cup, plate, pitcher and bowl has its own interesting, distinct look.
One of the exhibit's unique pieces discovered is the au gratin plates set, stacked neatly in rows. The au gratin dishes were found lined up inside of a wooden crate that had deteriorated over time -- an image that is recreated in the exhibition.
Other artifacts include ship tools, postcards, currency, a pipe, a spittoon and playing cards.
The Big Piece
While the tiny pieces leave behind a lasting impression, The Big Piece -- a huge piece of the ship's hull -- definitely stands out.
This piece is currently the largest Titanic artifact ever retrieved. The Big Piece weighs an astounding 15 tons and measures more than 26 feet long. Bringing it inside was a 48-hour process, involving cranes and a special team of people. It's considered the crown jewel of the collection.
In addition to the artifacts, the exhibit also features amazing replicas from the Titanic. One of these includes the staircase replica. Most remember the staircase scene in "Titanic" with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Seeing the staircase in person brings the Titanic to life.
The staircase is where first-class passengers met, mingled and admired each other's outfits. The intricately-detailed staircase replica includes iron, bronze and even the stained glass dome. Visitors have the option of having their picture taken and purchasing it at the end of the tour.
Other noteworthy replicas include the promenade deck (which features the sounds of waves crashing and a starry sky) as well as an iceberg, which guests are more than welcome to touch. Since the iceberg was specifically created for the exhibit, it contains its own cooling system to prevent it from melting.
Make sure to stop and take a look at the third-class and the finely decorated first-class sleeping quarters. Adorned with burgundy colors, elegant décor and mahogany accents, the first-class suite was considered more luxurious than any hotel room on land in its time.
Great for the entire family
From young to old, visitors of all ages will enjoy this exhibit. There is also gift shop for those who want to take a piece of Titanic home with them. Visitors can purchase everything from T-shirts, stuffed animals, captain hats for kids, cups, key chains and much more.
Titanic's overall experience gives guests a better perspective and appreciation of what happened on that fateful night. It allows visitors to remember the story of Titanic, especially the heroism of the crew and the passengers that were lost that night.