A Titanic boost
James Cameron (sporting a Cape Race hat) with Larry Daley, a St. John’s Titanic enthusiast and entrepreneur. — Photo courtesy of Larry Daley
The man who brought “Titanic” to the big screen will promote events at Cape Race marking the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking.
James Cameron, who directed the 1997 Oscar-winning film on the ill-fated luxury liner, has signed on as an ambassador for next year’s Receiving Titanic commemorations.
That’s according to Larry Daley, a St. John’s-based Titanic enthusiast and entrepreneur.
“(Cameron) is not guaranteeing he’s coming here,” Daley told The Telegram.
“He has a very busy schedule with Titanic events coming up in the new year. He’s going to be all over the place with that. … He will help promote (what we’re doing) wherever he can.”
Daley owns Titanic Expeditions Newfoundland and is helping organize Receiving Titanic with the Cape Race-Portugal Cove South Heritage Inc. and Dave Snow of Wildland Tours.
Daley worked with Cameron on the 2003 Titanic documentary “Ghosts of the Abyss.”
He met with the director in California recently and asked him to be part of what’s happening at Cape Race.
“Jim was more than happy to do it.”
Cape Race is significant in the Titanic story because the wireless station there received the ship’s distress call at 10:25 p.m. April 14, 1912.
It’s also the closest point of land to the Titanic’s wreckage, which lies under 12,460 feet of water some 350 nautical miles to the south-east.
The full schedule of the events at Cape Race will be announced soon.
Daley noted the commemoration will include a reenactment of the distress calls between Cape Race and the Titanic.
Cameron — who will re-release “Titanic” in 3-D April 6 — might not be the only celebrity involved with marking the 100th anniversary of the disaster that claimed 1,514 lives.
Pop singer Rod Stewart has indicated he wants to be aboard the Balmoral, a sold-out 1,230 passenger cruise ship that will be over the wreckage for a memorial service April 15.
It sets sail from England April 8 and will re-trace the Titanic’s route.
“I would very much like to be on the ship doing the Titanic run,” Stewart recently told the Las Vegas Sun.
Another cruise ship, the 684-passenger Azamara Journey, will leave New York April 10 and also head to the wreckage for the anniversary.
And besides Stewart’s interest, a recent story in the Mail on Sunday, a British newspaper, said billionaire Richard Branson is going to invite actress Kate Winslet to join him on a dive to the Titanic next year.
Winslet, who played Rose in “Titanic,” saved Branson’s 90-year-old mother from a fire that leveled the businessman’s Caribbean home this summer. The actress dates Branson’s nephew.
Daley — likely the only Newfoundlander to dive to the wreck — is connected to Deep Ocean Expeditions, the New Zealand-based company offering the dives.
He couldn’t confirm any celebrity involvement, but he did indicate a series of dives would begin in early July and continue throughout the summer.
Even though the cost of a journey to the Titanic is in the tens of thousands, Daley said, the expeditions “are almost sold out.”
Through his company, he will sell add-on packages to what Deep Ocean is offering.
People who purchase the combos will, among other things, experience icebergs along the province’s coast, dine on a meal the Titanic would have served, and visit the Titanic cemeteries and other points of interest in Halifax.
Daley said he’s burning the candle at both ends as 2012 and the various initiatives approach. His motivation is not necessarily profit-oriented.
“My biggest drive with this is that I find the Titanic story so interesting, and just the whole fact it happened off Newfoundland.”
Speaking of the island, Daley figures the province will see a significant increase in tourism in 2012 and in the years that follow because of its Titanic connection.
“The ripple effect of this going to be huge,” he said.
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