Weather, Illness Haunt Titanic Memorial Cruise Ship

Bad weather could not stop the MS Balmoral, but an ill passenger forced the ship to turn around.

By SHARE

From the start, it could appear, this might have been a bad idea.

A cruise ship tracing the path of the Titanic was forced to turn around briefly on Tuesday because of a sick passenger, Reuters reports. The MS Balmoral, which set out from Southampton, England, on Sunday in hopes of holding a memorial service at the spot of the ill-fated ship's disastrous last moments, encountered dangerous weather as it crossed the Irish Sea and was eventually forced to turn around because of a passenger who was experiencing heart problems. The ship is heading back to within helicopter distance (20 nautical miles) of Ireland, and the passenger will be evacuated Tuesday night.

[Photo Gallery: Commemorating Titanic's Voyage.]

The Balmoral's Titanic Memorial Cruise is scheduled to last 12 nights, with the highlight of the trip being a memorial service to mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking above where the ship currently rests on the sea floor. Relatives of those who lost their lives after the ship hit an iceberg and sank as well as relatives of survivors of the sinking are on board to participate in the cruise.

Over 1,500 people died on that icy April night 100 years ago in the North Atlantic in one of the most deadly peacetime maritime disasters in history, and the voyage has fascinated people ever since. Cruise organizers say over 1,300 people are on board the Balmoral, and tickets for the journey ranged up to over $15,000. Passengers will be treated to Titanic-period food and music as well as on-board lectures about the ocean liner.

Miles Morgan, managing director of the company that chartered the Titanic Memorial Cruise, was unable to say whether the current delay would stop the ship from making it to the Titanic on time for the April 14-15 anniversary.