Amid a sea of confetti, the SeaCity museum was declared open by eight year old Henry Ward whose great grandfather was a fireman onboard Titanic and survived the disaster.
Civic dignitaries including the mayor, council leader and Olympic rower James Cracknell led the ceremony which paid tribute to the hundreds of people from Southampton that perished on liner.
Holding placards with the faces of the crew who were on the ill fated liner, more than 600 youngsters from schools across the city paraded from the Titanic Engineers Memorial to the Civic Centre to mark the official opening of the SeaCity museum this lunchtime.
One of those taking part was four-year-old Jack Avery, from Eastleigh, Hampshire.
His mother, Kaye, discovered that her first cousin three times removed was a trimmer on board called James Avery.
She found out the link while researching her family tree and also discovered two of her own cousins who all met up today for the first time.
She said: ''We are all very proud of James and it's lovely for the children to be involved and to find out about their heritage.''