RMS Titanic. (File Photo)
Q: Are there activities planned to mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster?
-- M. Kapoor, Scarborough
A: Considered "unsinkable," the pride of the White Star Line hit an iceberg and sank off the Newfoundland coast in the early morning of April 15, 1912. Of the 2,200 passengers and crew on board for the ship's maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, more than 1,500 perished. Many events are planned to commemorate the disaster.
Titanic was built at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where several events will take place. A new visitor centre -- called Titanic Belfast (titanicbelfast.com) -- will open March 31. The six-storey building is the world's largest Titanic visitor attraction -- twice the size of Belfast's city hall. In addition, a Titanic Belfast Festival will run March 31 through May. It will include plays, tours, exhibitions and talks on the doomed luxury liner.
Closer to home, provinces that assisted in search and recovery efforts of the ill-fated ship will hold commemorative events.
Cape Race Nfld., which received the distress signal, will have tours and events leading up to April 15. These include daily tours starting from the Delta Hotel in St. John's from April 7-12. Excursions will begin at the Signal Hill National Historic site and end at Cape Race, where the Titanic's signal was received. The main event -- Receiving Titanic -- will take place on April 14 with guided tours, lectures, seminars, a re-enactment of the distress signal and a moment of silence (see receivingtitanic.com). Also in St. John's, a small temporary exhibit -- RMS Titanic: Relics of Disaster -- will run at The Rooms (therooms.ca) from April 12-Sept. 30.
Halifax, N.S., became the centre of recovery operations -- there are more than 20 Titanic-related sites throughout the province -- and many events such as lectures, exhibits, readings and book signings are planned for late March and April including The Gathering: Night of the Bells parade on April 14. The city's Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has the world's largest collection of wooden artifacts from the ship, and a special exhibit -- Cable Ships: Connecting Halifax to The Titanic and the World -- will run April 12 to Nov. 4, For a list of Nova Scotia's Titanic events. see destinationhalifax.com/visitors/titanicevents and novascotia.com/titanic.
Q: Argentina is high on our list of travel destinations. When is the best time to go?
-- R. Travis, Etobicoke
A: The seasons in South America are the reverse of those in North America so Argentina's summer occurs during our winter (December through March).
Generally, the best weather conditions are during Argentina's spring (September/November) and fall (March/April). But there are exceptions.
South America's second-largest country in area, Argentina boasts four major natural areas -- the Andes, the northern plains and foothills, the Pampas, and Patagonia -- which have diverse weather, landscape, plants and animals. For example, Patagonia is in the rain shadow of the towering Andes, and is quite dry. Summer is a good time to visit for mild temperatures and long days. The famous Iguazu Falls, because of its tropical environment, is great to visit year round.
For more travel-related information on Argentina, see argentina.travel/en.