Northern Ireland

Taking the plunge Titanic style

Banqueting suite at Titanic Signature Suite
Image caption The suite is a replica of Titanic's first class banqueting room

A wedding themed on the Titanic might not be thought to be the best of omens for the future, but Northern Ireland tourism chiefs are hoping plenty of young couples will think otherwise.

The Titanic Suite of Belfast's new £97m visitor attraction dedicated to the doomed liner has started taking bookings ahead of its opening next year.

The visitor attraction, which is due to open in eight months, is in the same spot where the famous ship was built by Harland and Wolff 100 years ago.

From its windows visitors will look down on the drawing office, the dry dock and and the slipway, while the scale of the building will mimic the actual size of the ship.

The fifth and sixth floors of the centre replicate the opulent surrounds of the ship's first class banqueting room, complete with the famous sweeping grand staircase.

It has been proclaimed as the largest function area in the region, with space for up to 1,000 guests.

Tourism chiefs hope the venue will host all manner of private events.

Claire Bradshaw, Titanic Belfast's head of sales and marketing, said: "Given the Titanic link, our aim is to create Belfast's most stylish venue, complete with the highest standards of catering and service."

Susie McCullough, Northern Ireland Tourist Board director, added: "This venue, with the Titanic-themed decor and capacity to accommodate such a large number of visitors, is one of its kind in Northern Ireland.

"And whilst conference and banqueting facilities are vital elements of the business tourism product, the added value is the opportunity to explore more of Northern Ireland's maritime and shipbuilding heritage which is right on their doorstep."

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