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Iceberg, right ahead!

It’s hard to miss a 30,000-square-foot ship-shaped structure replicating half of the original Titanic vessel along Pigeon Forge’s main parkway. The eye-catching size of the museum grabbed my attention immediately and easily held it throughout my tour.

Right after entering, I was handed a Titanic boarding pass with the biography of one of the actual passengers on the ship. My guide told me that I would learn the fate of my assigned passenger at the end of the museum, which gave the tour a personnel touch.

Just opened this year, the museum brought the experience of the ship to life with scaled replicas of the third class rooms, first class rooms and the Grand Staircase Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio walked down in the movie Titanic. Photos, interactive exhibits and over 400 artifacts told engaging stories from the fateful night.

To recreate the frigid experience felt by those not so lucky as to board a lifeboat, one exhibit kept the air temperature at 32 degrees. The exhibit also kept some water at 28 degrees to simulate the feel of the ocean that night. After only a minute my hand began to hurt acutely. The horror of the thousands that perished that way became all too real.

At the end of the tour, I was happy at least that my assigned passenger had survived against all odds. It was a reminder that stories both heartbreaking and inspiring came from the tragedy of the Titanic’s sinking.

Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum

I had breakfast at the Old Mill Restaurant

Future pepper shakers at the Old Mill Pottery