August 10, 2007 | Tips from Travellers >
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My family took a short break to Victoria recently. The main draw was to see the Titanic exhibit at the RBCM. My 7 year old daughter was quite intrigued with the idea, so we did some reading ahead of time – there is a great kids series called the Magic Treehouse in which characters go back in time. Once we read "A Night on the Titanic", she really wanted to go see the exhibit.
We were advised to go early – which was smart – we were there right at opening and found parking in the back lot just behind the museum. There were no lineups as we arrived, and we had the luxury of reading and looking at all the materials on display.
The boarding passes provided to each person with profiles of different passengers was very engaging. At the end you look at the memorial wall which lists all the survivors and missing – both my daughter and I lived, but alas my husband’s character did not – proving the maxim “women and children first” really was followed. It was very exciting for my daughter to see the IMAX film which featured commentary by a survivor named Eva Hart. My daughter saw her name, and said “hey, that’s me!” It was fascinating for her to identify with a 7 year old on the ship and then to see her as an elderly woman telling her stories.
The docents were very well informed, although my daughter got a bit bored by the teletype fellow who had such enthusiasm for his topic that he went on a bit long for his particular audience. Apparently they have child docents too, but they were not there during our visit.
The room with the iceberg was very eery as you heard sounds as they might have been - it was dark and everyone’s conversation took on hushed tones.
The folks at the museum advise seeing the IMAX film first then viewing the exhibit, however the first film is at 10 am and runs 45 minutes. By this time there were lineups to get into the exhibit. We did it the reverse, and went into the exhibit first – which opens at 9am, then caught the noon IMAX. I don’t think we missed much by doing it this way, and we really avoided crowds. The film is definitely worth adding on as it shows the submarine that went down to discover the ship – you actually see things 2 miles under water that are then on exhibit.
All in all, very worthwhile.
A few tips if traveling with kids (or even not)
-you cannot re-enter the exhibit once you leave, so make a trip to the washroom first
-get there early if you can (park behind the museum), see the exhibit then have an early lunch before the noon IMAX
-don’t forget your ticket also gets you into the RBCM displays – with in and out privileges – all day – during the summer there are days they are actually open evenings also. The woolly mammoth is a big hit with kids, as are parts of the ‘old town’.