Titanic Maiden Voyage
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.
Nationalities 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.