That Sinking Feeling

Henning Toegel’s Moderne Welt is offering people the "real-life" chance to experience what the passengers on the Titanic felt as it set out on its maiden voyage, although the company’s obviously going to stop short of drowning the punters who attend the huge exhibition in Kiel this summer.

The nearest they’ll come to an icy grave off the Canadian coast is when they check their boarding pass-style tickets – and each has the name of one of the ship’s original passengers and crew – at the end of the tour, when they can check if the name they’re holding is on the survivors list.

The scenery from the Titanic, which has some full-scale sections including the ballroom and the grand staircase, is being brought in from the U.S. and assembled at Kiel Ostseehalle.

Various rooms have artifacts taken from the wreck, which are being displayed in glass cases that also have photographs of the various pieces that were taken when they were lying at the murky bottom of the Atlantic.

Its June 12th opening is timed to coincide with "Kieler Woche," Europe’s biggest maritime festival that attracts 3.5 million visitors each year.

The last time Germany staged such an exhibition, in Hamburg during ’97 and ’98, nearly 1.5 million people showed up.

Back on dry land, Moderne Welt has Harlem Globetrotters in major arenas, including Munich Olympiahalle, Joan Baez has just toured and is returning for summer festivals, while Thunder, Joan Armatrading, Vanessa Mae, Vaya Con Dios, and Silbermond all have tours in the book.