By Lori Burke
Exactly 100 years after the launch of RMS Titanic, John Eaton ’48, of Cold Spring, N.Y., will offer historical context on the 12-night memorial cruise that will follow the fated ship’s route through the Atlantic, including two days at the wreck site with New York City as final port of call.
The voyage aboard MS Balmoral, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, whose parent company, Harland and Wolff, built the Titanic, will depart April 8 from Southampton, England. The 1,309 paying customers, the same number that sailed on the Titanic, will enjoy a series of lectures by Eaton and other experts as well as a memorial ceremony from 11:40 p.m., April 14, to 2:20 a.m., April 15.
Eaton is the author of Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy, the third edition of which has been released to coincide with the anniversary of the tragedy. He is co-founder, historian, and trustee for Titanic International Society, a nonprofit that preserves and perpetuates the memory and history of the ship and those who sailed on her maiden voyage.
Eaton has interviewed many Titanic survivors and their descendants. With co-author Charles Haas, he has written four other books on the topic: Titanic: Destination Disaster; Titanic, The Exhibition; Titanic: A Journey through Time; and Falling Star: Misadventures of White Star Line Ships. Eaton also has advised RMS Titanic, Inc., and served as an on-site consultant and observer during the 1993, 1996, and 1998 research expeditions to the wreck site.
A biology graduate, Eaton worked in hospital administration at Roosevelt Hospital in New York, N.Y., prior to his retirement. He became interested in the Titanic after seeing a painting of the ship in Esquire magazine in 1946.