Titanic Maiden Voyage

Titanic image courtesy of the National Museums Northern Ireland Collection

Transatlantic liners were so-called because they made a “line voyage” between points A and B.  Titanic sailed from Southampton on April 10th, 1912, but called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland to take on more passengers. She then began her maiden voyage proper across the Atlantic towards New York.

Floating Towns- The Maiden Voyage of RMS Titanic

Such ships had been compared to floating towns, so preparations for departure were elaborate and painstaking, especially for a maiden voyage. Final provisions and crane-loads of luggage were put on board. Then came  the arrival of hundreds of crew members – including officers, firemen, stewards, chefs, nurses, orchestra members, lift-boys, barbers,  bakers, window-cleaners and seamen (some crewmen were late and luckily for them were prohibited from coming on board. ) There was also a special focus of activity. Thomas Andrews, who had embarked at 6.30 a.m. on the day of departure, moved around the ship for six hours, inspecting and taking notes before giving the ship a clean bill of health.

Titanic in Southampton,  from the National Museums Northern Ireland CollectionNationalities on Board

In Southampton, Andrews had stayed in the South-Western hotel, like many passengers who had converged on the port of departure in boat trains. Passengers and crew streamed up the gangplank while the ship’s siren issued warnings that soon anchors would be raised. On board was what has been called “all the world in little”.  Most of the three hundred-odd passengers in first-class cabins were American, whilst many of those in second class were British. 

Rich and Poor Onboard the Titanic

But the thousand or so steerage passengers, especially after the brief moorings in Cherbourg and Queenstown, were a medley of nationalities, and most of those embarking had one-way tickets to the New World. They included Germans, Italians, Greeks, Armenians, Scandinavians, English, Poles and Irish. But it is the names of the American rich and powerful in first class we remember – Astor, Guggenheim, Straus, Widener, Butt, Dodge, Ryerson. For these people, first class was a kind of reunion. Travel on the maiden voyage of a great liner was one of life’s bonus pleasures.

Watch our video ‘Titanic’s Last Stop- Cobh’- click here for video

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User Comments 15

I fill sorry for the people that died on the ship
jaszyinm 19 September 2012
great loss of live from Titanic,Thought us never overconfidence
KUMAR VED MITRA 06 August 2012
Titanic was really massive but lots of expectations are very dangerous sometimes
KUMAR VED MITRA 06 August 2012
i love this story
lizzy 09 May 2012
What was the proposed schedule from Southampton to New York? I have found many timelines but I cannot find a schedule for the actual journey anywhere.
Catherine 06 May 2012
wish all those people could have been saved. to many perished.
garrett 05 May 2012
what is the real story of titanic ??
missy 03 April 2012
We are performing Titanic the Musical at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire from 14 - 17th March to commemorate the sinking of this great ship. I am playing Eleanor Widener and my husband is playing George Widener.
It is an absolute privilege to be part of this great story and if you haven't seen this show before, (or even if you have) do come along for a memorable insight into what actually happened.
The music is wonderful and you will definitely need your tissues. We have about 7 children and about 5 dogs as well as adult actors with a full cast of 79.
You do not want to miss this opportunity to see this fantastic show.
Ring the theatre for tickets on 01743 281281
Carol 13 February 2012
I also wish that the Titanic got to New York. The captain blamed himself and it wasn't even his fault, how unfair is that?
bella 01 December 2011
I'm learning about the Titanic and I think there are some interesting facts on it, about how it sunk and how many survived.
chelsey 19 June 2011
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