The popular Titanic Trail walking tour in Cobh has launched a new 35-minute HD virtual tour exploring the heritage of Cobh and the history of its streets and buildings.
The Titanic Trail Virtual Tour which was developed by Dr Michael Martin, who has been running the walking tours since 1998, as a result of the financial crisis that was brought about by Covid-19 after all of the businesses tour groups from overseas were cancelled.
The guided walking tour which usually attracts up to 45 people on numerous tours each day in high season has suffered the biggest loss of cancellations in its 22 years of operating due to the loss of the overseas market but has been continuing to offer the physical tour to the domestic market since reopening on June 8.
The new HD television documentary standard tour brings to life the people and places of Cobh and Cork Harbour through a compelling narrative by Dr Martin that reveals the truth behind the events in the town that witnessed a flood of emigration in the 19th Century, became the last port of call for RMS Titanic in 1912 and was the location where RMS Lusitania victims were brought ashore in 1915.
Dr Martin told The Echo that with 92% of his business being the overseas market, he wanted to find a way to offer the product to people who have not been able to visit Ireland due to Covid-19.
He said that although the virtual tour does not replace them coming to Ireland, that it provides them with a high quality product where they can enjoy the heritage of Cobh from the comfort of their own homes.
“The unfortunate thing about guided walking tours is with all the supports that were there from the Government we fell between the stools of virtually every support announced so we had to do something to address two things really, significant loss of income and to try and fulfil the need of people who want to come to Ireland and love Ireland and would rather be here,” he said.
Dr Martin has been working on delivering the virtual tour throughout lockdown after he saw the almost immediate daily cancellations from big tour operators once lockdown was announced.
“It took the whole summer to work on it, there were a lot of technical and security things that have to be overcome and there were costs involved also but we did it and we got there and it’s now a live product,” he said.
The Titanic Trail Virtual Tour is available to purchase at a cost of €25 and includes a signed copy of the Titanic Trail booklet which can be sent to any address in the world.
A unique access code allows two views of the virtual tour per purchase as a security measure.
For more information, visit www.titanic.ie.