A passenger of MS Balmoral Titanic memorial cruise ship, gazes out to the Atlantic Ocean, following a memorial service, marking the 100-year anniversary of the Titanic disaster, in the early hours of Sunday, April 15, 2012. The Titanic passenger liner was built in Belfast, and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on its maiden voyage from England to New York, USA, in the early hours of April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg and over 1,500 people perished in the sinking.
ABOARD MS BALMORAL: It was a short service: prayers, a hymn and a moment of silence broken by a ship's deep whistle. But for Jane Allen, who was among the passengers and crew on a memorial voyage, it was a vivid reminder of the Titanic's horrific end.
Allen's great-uncle perished on the Titanic and even after 100 years the loss of 1,500 lives seemed very real to her, and terribly tragic.
The 1912 disaster was commemorated in dozens of cities, from San Diego to Southampton, England. A century on, these events around the globe marked a tragedy that retains its grip on the world's imagination.
The city that built the vessel — Belfast, Northern Ireland — looked back on the tragic sinking with a distinctive mixture of sorrow and pride.
In the North Atlantic, passengers lined the decks of the MS Balmoral, a cruise ship that has been retracing the route of the doomed voyage, as the ship stopped early Sunday at the spot where the Titanic went down in the early hours of April 15, 1912.
"All you could hear was the swell splashing against the side of the ship. You could see the white breakers stretching out to sea," Allen, who is from Devon in southwest England, told the BBC. "You are in the middle of nowhere. And then you look down over the side of the ship and you realize that every man and every woman who didn't make it into a lifeboat had to make that decision, of when to jump or stay on the ship as the lights went out."
Another cruise ship, Journey, which traveled from New York, also held a service at the site, 400 miles (640 kilometers) off the coast of Newfoundland.
The Titanic, the world's largest and most luxurious ocean liner, was traveling from England to New York when it struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912. It sank less than three hours later, with the loss of all but 700 of the 2,208 passengers and crew.