Step Aboard The Titanic In San Diego

The San Diego Natural History Museum hosts Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, a collection of 200 relics salvaged from the doomed ocean liner

This article is sponsored by the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, the official travel resource for the San Diego region. Learn more about San Diego at sandiego.org.

Titanic fans have been swarming theaters across the country to catch the 3D rerelease of the James Cameron blockbuster.

But why watch Leo proclaim he's "king of the world" and suffer through Celine Dion's soundtrack when you can experience the real thing? Minus, you know, the frigid temps and the untimely demise, of course.

The San Diego Natural History Museum is going one better than 3D, breaking down the fourth wall with Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, a collection of over 200 artifacts salvaged from the wreckage, recreated rooms and intimate portraits of the doomed Transatlantic travelers. With a replica boarding pass in hand, museum visitors can meander through palatial first class cabins and between the cramped bunks of third class, and checkout everything from perfume samples to a 15-ton piece of the hull itself, all pulled up from the ship's 2.5 mile-deep, sub Atlantic tomb.

Already viewed by over 25 million people worldwide, the exhibition--celebrating the Titanic's centenary--might be even more popular than its Hollywood namesake. But whereas the film uses the tragic voyage as a backdrop to its fictional narrative, The Artifact Exhibition is all about paying homage to the tragedy through the lens of reality. The exhibit is able to do so thanks to the endless work of RMS Titanic, Inc., an organization that's tasked itself with preserving the memory of the ocean liner. Since discovering the wreckage in 1985, the organization has recovered 5,500 artifacts from the ocean floor.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition runs through September 9 and tickets cost $27 for adults and $18 for children. For more information on the exhibit and the San Diego Natural History Museum--home to the largest Dolby® 3D theater for a museum in California--visit sdnhm.org.

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