Tour the Titanic: the world's most famous ship



Slide 1 of 46: When the RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on 10 April 1912 bound for New York, she was the largest ocean liner afloat and thought to be unsinkable. More than a ship, the Titanic was a symbol of the wealth, extravagant tastes and engineering skill of the Edwardian age. But the liner's collision with an iceberg in the North Atlantic on 14 April and the loss of over 1,500 lives marked the end of an era. Today, 108 years on, the Titanic's story continues to captivate. Here, using beautiful period images, we look at what life was really like on the most famous and ill-fated voyage in history.
Slide 2 of 46: The Titanic was built during a golden age of sea travel. Growing numbers of immigrants to the New World and wealthier passengers during the early 20th century meant competition for business on Europe to New York sailings was fierce. Plans were first laid for the Titanic (and her near-identical sister ships the Olympic and Britannic) in 1907 by the White Star Line. Other companies, including Cunard, already had popular passenger ships such as the RMS Lusitania and the RMS Mauretania, and the Titanic was designed to compete with these stars of the sea.
Slide 3 of 46: It took four years from 1909 to build the Titanic at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Costs were lavish at the time – around $7.4 million (£1.5m) in total, around $192 million (£147m) in today's money. Thanks to 16 watertight compartments (known as bulkheads) that could be shut to prevent flooding, the Titanic was designed from the off to be unsinkable and considered one of the safest ships afloat. 
Slide 4 of 46: The cost of creating the Titanic wasn't just financial. Eight workers were killed between the keel being laid and her first launch, and 246 injuries were recorded during her construction. The Titanic's 26,000-ton hull was launched on 31 May 1911 ready to be fitted out, with the propellers added later.

Slide 5 of 46: Despite many setbacks the RMS Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage on 10 April 1912 from Southampton. The Titanic made two stops before heading out to the Atlantic Ocean, calling at Cherbourg in northern France and Queenstown (now called Cobh) in County Cork, Ireland. 
Slide 6 of 46: But even the Titanic's departure wasn't without drama. As she pulled away from the dock at Southampton she almost crashed into another ship. The New York (pictured right) was moored nearby and, as the Titanic was leaving, the massive ropes that held the smaller ship snapped. Only quick thinking from the Titanic's crew, who used a wash of water from a propeller to push the other ship away, avoided a collision. It was an ominous start to the voyage.
Slide 7 of 46: As the dock at Queenstown wasn’t large enough to accommodate the ship, passengers and mail were ferried over to the Titanic in small boats known as tenders. Happily the weather for this portion of the voyage was sunny and bright and just after lunch on 11 April the ship left Ireland behind to meet her fate. This picture is among the last images of the Titanic taken from land.
Slide 8 of 46: While at the time RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat, the ship's appeal wasn't just her size – once onboard passengers would have been staggered by the ship's jaw-dropping interiors. The grand staircase in first class (pictured) was one of the most lavish at sea and featured a wrought-iron and glass-domed roof and oak paneling. 
Slide 9 of 46: The 100-foot long (30m) first-class dining saloon could be found on D Deck between the second and third funnels. This location was specifically chosen to ensure uninterrupted dining in the smooth, central part of the ship. The room featured leaded windows and Jacobean style alcoves. First-class passengers were offered a luxurious choice of menus each evening with a selection of fine wines to accompany the food. (Pictured is the first-class saloon on the Titanic's sister ship the RMS Olympic.)

Slide 10 of 46: For an extra cost, first-class passengers could also book to dine at restaurateur Luigi Gatti’s intimate à la carte restaurant nicknamed the “Ritz". Gatti had been poached from upmarket Oddenino's Imperial Restaurant on Regent Street, London to run the Titanic's high-end spots. The elegant space was fully carpeted with French walnut-paneled walls and picture windows. Small tables were lit by crystal lamps and guests could eat any time between 8am and 11pm, which made it a popular choice. 
Slide 11 of 46: The choice for first-class guests didn't end there. Pictured is the Veranda café and Palm Court, the perfect place for afternoon tea. Café Parisien was another spot, designed to offer first-class passengers a sea view while they dined, the first of its kind. On the night the Titanic sank the menu included oysters, pâté de foie gras and chocolate eclairs. You can discover more about the Titanic's amazing menus here. 
Slide 12 of 46: While the lavish food was all part of the experience for those in first class, fitness and wellbeing was catered for too. Passengers could burn off the calories in the state-of-the-art gymnasium, pictured in this colorized image. It offered cycling machines, an electric horse and camel and a rowing machine. There was even a squash court below deck.
Slide 13 of 46: The Turkish baths were the height of luxury for the time. First-class passengers could visit the Moorish-inspired suite for the price of $1 a day. The facilities included a steam room, hot room, cooling room, temperate room and an exciting new invention, electric beds that heated the body using lamps. This sketch shows the cooling room onboard RMS Olympic.
Slide 14 of 46: Located in the middle deck, alongside the Turkish Baths, was an impressive swimming pool for first-class passengers only. A novel feature for the time the “swimming bath” was 30 feet (9.14m) long and 14 feet (4.3m) wide and filled with heated saltwater which was pumped into the pool from the sea, via a tank. The bath was available for ladies between 10am and 1pm and for men from 2pm to 6pm.

Slide 15 of 46: This first-class smoking room on RMS Olympic (pictured) would have been similar to the Titanic’s. While ladies retired to the reading and writing room after eating – they were forbidden entry – male passengers went to the smoking room for cards and Scotch. Now discover the tragic story of the Titanic's lost sister ship too. 
Slide 16 of 46: This comfortable reading and writing room was where first-class ladies retired after dinner and White Star Line stationery would have been provided for those wishing to write to loved ones back home. Books could be borrowed from the lounge next door too.
Slide 17 of 46: The most expensive rooms onboard were the four parlor suites located on B deck. Each had a lounge, two bedrooms, two closet rooms and a private bathroom and toilet. They offered the latest in modern electrical appliances including telephones and heaters.
Slide 18 of 46: Two of the parlor suites were occupied by J Bruce Ismay, the chairman of the White Star Line (more about him later). The suite pictured here, B-58, was taken by the Baxter family, from Montréal, Canada, who boarded at Cherbourg. Mrs Baxter was a widow and traveling with her daughter Mary Hélène and son Quigg, who went down with the ship. 
Slide 19 of 46: Those staying in one of the four parlor suites had access to one of two private interior promenades. These measured 50 feet (15m) in length and were styled in a wooden Tudor design. They were on either side of the Titanic, offering exclusive views.
Slide 20 of 46: First-class cabins were not furnished identically, but decorated in different styles including Queen Anne and Louis XV. And not every cabin in first class was as luxurious as you might think. This is stateroom B-21 which came complete with a single bed and sink. Some first-class staterooms even had shared bathrooms.
Slide 21 of 46: The luxury and status of the Titanic attracted some of the wealthiest and most prominent businessmen, political figures and celebrities of the day. John Jacob Astor IV, reputedly the richest man in America and the owner of the Astoria hotel in New York, was traveling in first class. His family fortune was estimated to be around $87 million ($2.26bn) today. He lost his life on the Titanic, leaving behind his wife Madeline, who was five months pregnant and survived. 
Slide 22 of 46: Other famous names who were onboard included Isidor and Ida Straus, the owners of Macy's department store. They both lost their lives in the disaster.
Slide 23 of 46: Those traveling in second class would have enjoyed facilities that were similar to first class on other liners. Most of the second-class cabins had bunk bed style sleeping. This room pictured is from the RMS Olympic and would have been like the staterooms on the Titanic. These cabins were comfortable for the time and often had a writing desk or a small sofa as well as beds.
Slide 24 of 46: Like in first class, second-class passengers had access to elevators which would have been like this one from the RMS Olympic. Although not as extravagant as those in first class where there were sofas to recline on, they still saved passengers the effort of having to climb the stairs between decks.
Slide 25 of 46: Before she set sail second-class guests had been allowed to tour the Titanic's first-class facilities. Pictured on the right is second-class passenger Lawrence Beesley, a science teacher from Dulwich College in south London, who was impressed by the gym. However no such luxuries were available for those traveling on a second-class ticket.
Slide 26 of 46: Second class passengers did have access to three promenade areas where they could relax or take a stroll around the deck. Passengers could rent one of the ship’s wooden deck chairs for three shillings or $1 dollar per person for the whole voyage.
Slide 27 of 46: Compared to other ships, life in steerage (third class) on the lower decks was comfortable for its time. Passengers often slept in four to six berth cabins which housed either families or single-sex passengers. Single men and women were separated at opposite ends of the ship, with men at the bow and women at the stern. This replica shows the size of a four-berth cabin which might have been shared by strangers. Although there were lots of toilets available for steerage passengers, there were only two baths available – one for men and one for women.
Slide 28 of 46: The dining salon had white enameled walls and tables were communal, meaning little privacy for passengers. Third class passengers weren’t offered a choice of menu, but they had freshly baked bread and fruit every day. It was a huge luxury when compared with other shipping lines who usually made steerage passengers bring their own food. (Pictured is the dining room on the Olympic.)
Slide 29 of 46: Third-class communal spaces had a simple, elegant feel. For example this smoking room included wooden benches and chairs, plus a tiled floor. It's likely this image is from the Olympic.
Slide 30 of 46: Sadly all this opulence was destined to meet a watery end when, at 11.40pm on 14 April, the Titanic collided with an iceberg. Frederick Fleet, the Titanic's lookout was one of the first to spot the iceberg, raising the alarm with the words "iceberg right ahead". Frederick was relying on his eyes only as the Titanic's binoculars were locked away in the crow's nest, the Titanic's lookout point.
Slide 31 of 46: Captain Smith ordered the doors to the 16 watertight bulkheads to be shut. The Titanic could stay afloat if four of these compartments were full. But with over 100-feet (30m) of the ship opened up to the sea, six had flooded, including one of the boiler rooms. The walls of the compartments didn't extend far enough up the ship to prevent the water flooding into the next section. Within three hours of striking the iceberg she had sunk. 
Slide 32 of 46: There were just 20 lifeboats onboard, enough for around 1,700 crew and passengers. Priority was given to women and children, with a much greater percentage of first-class passengers saved than those in steerage.
Slide 33 of 46: Those in the lifeboats would have witnessed the noisy horror of the ship sinking. As the front of the liner was pulled further into the water by the flooding, Titanic's stern was lifted further out of the sea. Eventually the hull of the ship snapped into two sections, between the third and the fourth funnels. The remaining part of the stern then gradually righted itself before flooding, pointing straight up out of the ocean and descending to the seabed.
Slide 34 of 46: While the Titanic had sent multiple distress signals it was Cunard's ship Carpathia which came to the rescue of survivors, taking them to New York. However, the Carpathia couldn't reach the scene until 4am, four hours and 20 minutes after the Titanic struck the iceberg. It took a further four hours to get survivors from the lifeboats onto the Carpathia. Six years later in July 1918, the unlucky Carpathia met her own terrible end too, sinking during the First World War after being torpedoed by a German U-boat. 
Slide 35 of 46: Because of the lack of up-to-date passenger and crew lists it's very difficult to say exactly how many died that night. Some crew members wouldn't have been recorded at all – a few certainly joined as last-minute replacements, stepping in for stokers who failed to show up. A US investigation found that 1,517 lives were lost while the British one claimed 1,503 died. It was the Titanic's crew who took the biggest hit: of 900 staff, 720 were from Southampton, England and only 124 returned. Overall there were just 706 survivors. 
Slide 36 of 46: This picture was taken from the Carpathia of the iceberg it's thought the Titanic struck. The Titanic was traveling through an ice pack that consisted of larger bergs such as the one pictured, and smaller formations called 'growlers'.
Slide 37 of 46: Several newspapers at the time reported the Titanic was safe and that all passengers were alive. The Times in the UK claimed the Titanic was being towed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada by the RMS Virginian on Tuesday 16 April 1912. The horrible truth wouldn't be fully reported until nearly 48 hours after the Titanic struck the iceberg. 
Slide 38 of 46: Four ships, including the SS Mackay-Bennett (pictured) were sent on a recovery mission on 17 April from Halifax. The ships collected both bodies and artifacts such as deckchairs. Over 100 of those who died are buried at Fairview Cemetery in the Nova Scotian city. There is also a highly informative exhibition at Halifax's Maritime Museum of the Atlantic that charts the city's role in the aftermath.  
Slide 39 of 46: Many survivors suffered from mental health issues for years after the sinking. Frederick Fleet, the Titanic's lookout, took his own life in January 1965, two weeks after his wife passed away. He was so poor he was buried in an unmarked grave.
Slide 40 of 46: The ship’s Captain, Edward John Smith (pictured right) was one of White Star Line’s most experienced commanders and had served for over 40 years at sea at the time of the disaster. There have been mixed accounts of the Captain’s death, but it is believed that he refused to abandon the Titanic as it sank and went down with the ship. This image was taken by Father Francis Browne. An Irish Jesuit, he had been gifted a first-class ticket from Southampton to Queenstown by his uncle and took many of the last photographs of the Titanic's passengers, interiors and crew, which survived thanks to his early departure from the ship. 
Slide 41 of 46: White Star Line's chairman J Bruce Ismay was vilified by the press for getting in a lifeboat, with many considering he'd selfishly saved himself. Dubbed one of the "greatest cowards in history", he resigned from the White Star Line in 1913. He kept a relatively low profile afterwards, but did contribute to some significant seafaring charities. He died on 17 October 1937.
Slide 42 of 46: However, the Titanic's story didn't end with the sinking. The idea of finding the ship was first raised in 1914. But it wasn't until July 1986 that Robert Ballard (pictured center with survivors Eva Hart and Bertram Dean) discovered the wreckage of the ship. He and his team had been photographing US submarines on a secret Cold War mission, and were allowed to search for the Titanic as a side project after the main job was done.
Slide 43 of 46: Since then there have been many research and discovery expeditions recovering around 6,000 artifacts. Director James Cameron’s team did 12 visits to the site in 1995 while making the film Titanic. However, in August 2019 a deep dive to the site revealed that the wreck is starting to decay significantly. An agreement has now been signed that limits the number of licenses to enter the wreck and remove artifacts, in the hope of preserving this poignant site for as long as possible.
Slide 44 of 46: Can't make it to the bottom of the sea? Many of the RMS Olympic's furnishings and fittings were almost exactly like the Titanic's and were sold when she was scrapped in 1935. Today you can still see some of the Olympic's interiors at the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick, England. Hardcore seafaring fans can even get married in the hotel's Olympic Suite.
Slide 45 of 46: Plus there are currently two extraordinary projects vying to recreate the iconic doomed ship for modern-day fans. One will be the star attraction at the Romandisea theme park in Sichuan, China and is being funded by Chinese firm Seven Star Energy Investment Group. 
Slide 46 of 46: In April 2012 Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer announced his plan to build Titanic II, a near-to-scale seaworthy reproduction at an estimated cost of $500 million (£396m). Currently there is no opening date for either project, but both are under construction, so watch this space. Now discover jaw-dropping pictures of the world's most stunning shipwrecks.

The truth about the Titanic

When the RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on 10 April 1912 bound for New York, she was the largest ocean liner afloat and thought to be unsinkable. More than a ship, the Titanic was a symbol of the wealth, extravagant tastes and engineering skill of the Edwardian age. But the liner’s collision with an iceberg in the North Atlantic on 14 April and the loss of over 1,500 lives marked the end of an era. Today, 108 years on, the Titanic’s story continues to captivate. Here, using beautiful period images, we look at what life was really like on the most famous and ill-fated voyage in history.

The creation of a legend

The Titanic was built during a golden age of sea travel. Growing numbers of immigrants to the New World and wealthier passengers during the early 20th century meant competition for business on Europe to New York sailings was fierce. Plans were first laid for the Titanic (and her near-identical sister ships the Olympic and Britannic) in 1907 by the White Star Line. Other companies, including Cunard, already had popular passenger ships such as the RMS Lusitania and the RMS Mauretania, and the Titanic was designed to compete with these stars of the sea.

Building the Titanic

It took four years from 1909 to build the Titanic at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Costs were lavish at the time – around $7.4 million (£1.5m) in total, around $192 million (£147m) in today’s money. Thanks to 16 watertight compartments (known as bulkheads) that could be shut to prevent flooding, the Titanic was designed from the off to be unsinkable and considered one of the safest ships afloat. 

Building the Titanic

The ship of dreams sets sail

Despite many setbacks the RMS Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage on 10 April 1912 from Southampton. The Titanic made two stops before heading out to the Atlantic Ocean, calling at Cherbourg in northern France and Queenstown (now called Cobh) in County Cork, Ireland. 

A shocking near miss

Heading into history

First class: the grand staircase

While at the time RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat, the ship’s appeal wasn’t just her size – once onboard passengers would have been staggered by the ship’s jaw-dropping interiors. The grand staircase in first class (pictured) was one of the most lavish at sea and featured a wrought-iron and glass-domed roof and oak paneling. 

First class: dining saloon

The 100-foot long (30m) first-class dining saloon could be found on D Deck between the second and third funnels. This location was specifically chosen to ensure uninterrupted dining in the smooth, central part of the ship. The room featured leaded windows and Jacobean style alcoves. First-class passengers were offered a luxurious choice of menus each evening with a selection of fine wines to accompany the food. (Pictured is the first-class saloon on the Titanic’s sister ship the RMS Olympic.)

First class: à la carte restaurant

For an extra cost, first-class passengers could also book to dine at restaurateur Luigi Gatti’s intimate à la carte restaurant nicknamed the “Ritz”. Gatti had been poached from upmarket Oddenino’s Imperial Restaurant on Regent Street, London to run the Titanic’s high-end spots. The elegant space was fully carpeted with French walnut-paneled walls and picture windows. Small tables were lit by crystal lamps and guests could eat any time between 8am and 11pm, which made it a popular choice. 

First class: Veranda café and Palm Court

The choice for first-class guests didn’t end there. Pictured is the Veranda café and Palm Court, the perfect place for afternoon tea. Café Parisien was another spot, designed to offer first-class passengers a sea view while they dined, the first of its kind. On the night the Titanic sank the menu included oysters, pâté de foie gras and chocolate eclairs. You can discover more about the Titanic’s amazing menus here. 

First class: keeping fit

First class: the Turkish baths

First class: swimming bath

First class: smoking room

This first-class smoking room on RMS Olympic (pictured) would have been similar to the Titanic’s. While ladies retired to the reading and writing room after eating – they were forbidden entry – male passengers went to the smoking room for cards and Scotch. Now discover the tragic story of the Titanic’s lost sister ship too. 

First class: reading and writing room

This comfortable reading and writing room was where first-class ladies retired after dinner and White Star Line stationery would have been provided for those wishing to write to loved ones back home. Books could be borrowed from the lounge next door too.

First class: staterooms

First class: staterooms

Two of the parlor suites were occupied by J Bruce Ismay, the chairman of the White Star Line (more about him later). The suite pictured here, B-58, was taken by the Baxter family, from Montréal, Canada, who boarded at Cherbourg. Mrs Baxter was a widow and traveling with her daughter Mary Hélène and son Quigg, who went down with the ship. 

First class: staterooms

First class: staterooms

First class: the super-rich passengers

The luxury and status of the Titanic attracted some of the wealthiest and most prominent businessmen, political figures and celebrities of the day. John Jacob Astor IV, reputedly the richest man in America and the owner of the Astoria hotel in New York, was traveling in first class. His family fortune was estimated to be around $87 million ($2.26bn) today. He lost his life on the Titanic, leaving behind his wife Madeline, who was five months pregnant and survived. 

First class: the super-rich passengers

Second class: staterooms

Second class: elevators

Second class: facilities

Second class: promenade deck chairs

Steerage: staterooms

Compared to other ships, life in steerage (third class) on the lower decks was comfortable for its time. Passengers often slept in four to six berth cabins which housed either families or single-sex passengers. Single men and women were separated at opposite ends of the ship, with men at the bow and women at the stern. This replica shows the size of a four-berth cabin which might have been shared by strangers. Although there were lots of toilets available for steerage passengers, there were only two baths available – one for men and one for women.

Steerage: dining room

Steerage: smoking room

“Iceberg right ahead”

Extreme peril

Captain Smith ordered the doors to the 16 watertight bulkheads to be shut. The Titanic could stay afloat if four of these compartments were full. But with over 100-feet (30m) of the ship opened up to the sea, six had flooded, including one of the boiler rooms. The walls of the compartments didn’t extend far enough up the ship to prevent the water flooding into the next section. Within three hours of striking the iceberg she had sunk. 

To the lifeboats

The final plunge

Carpathia to the rescue

While the Titanic had sent multiple distress signals it was Cunard’s ship Carpathia which came to the rescue of survivors, taking them to New York. However, the Carpathia couldn’t reach the scene until 4am, four hours and 20 minutes after the Titanic struck the iceberg. It took a further four hours to get survivors from the lifeboats onto the Carpathia. Six years later in July 1918, the unlucky Carpathia met her own terrible end too, sinking during the First World War after being torpedoed by a German U-boat. 

Survivors on the Carpathia

Because of the lack of up-to-date passenger and crew lists it’s very difficult to say exactly how many died that night. Some crew members wouldn’t have been recorded at all – a few certainly joined as last-minute replacements, stepping in for stokers who failed to show up. A US investigation found that 1,517 lives were lost while the British one claimed 1,503 died. It was the Titanic’s crew who took the biggest hit: of 900 staff, 720 were from Southampton, England and only 124 returned. Overall there were just 706 survivors. 

The iceberg that sank the Titanic?

Everyone saved?

Several newspapers at the time reported the Titanic was safe and that all passengers were alive. The Times in the UK claimed the Titanic was being towed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada by the RMS Virginian on Tuesday 16 April 1912. The horrible truth wouldn’t be fully reported until nearly 48 hours after the Titanic struck the iceberg. 

The rescue ships

Four ships, including the SS Mackay-Bennett (pictured) were sent on a recovery mission on 17 April from Halifax. The ships collected both bodies and artifacts such as deckchairs. Over 100 of those who died are buried at Fairview Cemetery in the Nova Scotian city. There is also a highly informative exhibition at Halifax’s Maritime Museum of the Atlantic that charts the city’s role in the aftermath.  

What happened to the crew?

Captain E.J Smith

The ship’s Captain, Edward John Smith (pictured right) was one of White Star Line’s most experienced commanders and had served for over 40 years at sea at the time of the disaster. There have been mixed accounts of the Captain’s death, but it is believed that he refused to abandon the Titanic as it sank and went down with the ship. This image was taken by Father Francis Browne. An Irish Jesuit, he had been gifted a first-class ticket from Southampton to Queenstown by his uncle and took many of the last photographs of the Titanic’s passengers, interiors and crew, which survived thanks to his early departure from the ship. 

“The greatest coward in history”

Finding the ship

Treasures from the seabed

Suite dreams

Will she sail again?

Plus there are currently two extraordinary projects vying to recreate the iconic doomed ship for modern-day fans. One will be the star attraction at the Romandisea theme park in Sichuan, China and is being funded by Chinese firm Seven Star Energy Investment Group. 

Titanic II

In April 2012 Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer announced his plan to build Titanic II, a near-to-scale seaworthy reproduction at an estimated cost of $500 million (£396m). Currently there is no opening date for either project, but both are under construction, so watch this space. Now discover jaw-dropping pictures of the world’s most stunning shipwrecks.

Source: Read Full Article