RMS Titanic

This article is an itinerary.

The RMS Titanic itinerary crosses the North Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America, covering multiple sites in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, the Dominion of Newfoundland, the Dominion of Canada and the United States of America.

Ports of call for the ship, built in Belfast, Northern Ireland, include the primary April 1912 departure point in Southampton, England; additional passengers boarded at Cherbourg, France and Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland to travel to New York City.

Other Titanic landmarks include Cape Race, a Marconi station in Newfoundland as the first point of radio contact in the New World for the inbound luxury liner, marine museums devoting permanent exhibits to this famous ship and various memorials to Titanic passengers and crew.

Like the path of the ship itself, this itinerary runs from east to west.

Understand

RMS Titanic is, as of the time of its construction, the largest ship ever built, nearly 900 feet long and 25 stories high. The pride of J. Bruce Ismay and the White Star Line, this elegant 46,000-ton luxury ocean liner was launched in April 1912 with sixteen watertight compartments in the lower section which can be sealed individually with the intention that the mighty ship remain afloat even on collision with another vessel, providing plenty of time to summon assistance with the state-of-the-art five kilowatt Marconi wireless telegraph apparatus.

This magnificent ship, constructed at an estimated cost of £1,564,000 and travelling with an 885-person crew, is equipped with every luxury and built to serve a clientèle which includes many famous millionaires. Titanic's maximum total capacity is 3547 passengers, her port of registry is Liverpool. She carries the sixteen lifeboats required by regulations and an additional four collapsible lifeboats; these twenty boats can carry a combined maximum of 1098 people.

Trans-Atlantic travel is offered in first, second and third-class price ranges, with the first class offering the most extensive amenities: a squash court, gymnasium, Turkish bath, heated salt-water swimming pool, deck games such as ring toss or shuffleboard, a fully stocked library, a variety of cafés and lounges, and dining halls where first class passengers may dine in opulence.

One way fares for the trans-Atlantic crossing (1912 currency) are a not-insubstantial £870 for a First Class parlour suite, £30 for a First Class berth, £12 for Second Class and a somewhat more economical £3 to £8 for Third Class. Constructed by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, the RMS Titanic departs Southampton to speed the well-to-do on their way toward New York. The maiden voyage in April 1912 will have 2,228 people on board including notables such as John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest man in the world.

Prepare

This itinerary spans multiple countries. See the individual country-level articles for the United Kingdom and European Union, Canada and the United States for specific passport and visa requirements.

Get in

The RMS Titanic, built by Harland and Wolff, departing Southampton in 1912

The most common means to get in during the Titanic era would be to go to London and board passenger rail from there to one of the departure points of the original ship. The most common embarcation point for Titanic passengers is Southampton, which is 100km (60 miles) south of London and is currently served by hourly rail service.

Belfast has good road and rail connections and is easily reachable from major cities in Europe; trans-Atlantic passenger service from Belfast to New York City still exists in the modern era, but is direct via aeroplane.

Go

Belfast and Northern Ireland

The Titanic journey begins at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, birthplace of Titanic and many other luxury ocean liners of the White Star Line. This district is served by the Titanic Quarter railway station on the Northern Ireland Railways line from Belfast-Bangor.

Belfast is accessible by road, rail and sea; it is currently served by Belfast International Airport (IATA: BFS) and Belfast City Airport (IATA: BHD) with connections to much of Europe and is 160 km (100 mi) north of Dublin. Aeroplanes and buses run from Belfast to London, from which onward connections can be obtained to Southampton.

Liverpool

Liverpool is not on the RMS Titanic's itinerary but is the ship's port of registry as James Street, Liverpool was the White Star Line's head office site. This English city is a seaport located midway between Belfast and Southampton; it carried much of White Star Line's trans-Atlantic traffic before 1907. Southampton's proximity and rail links to London made it a more favoured choice for subsequent large luxury ocean liners.

Southampton

Southampton, a seaport easily accessible by rail from London in the Titanic era, is this luxurious vessel's home base and home to many of the crew. This city is the primary point of departure for the vessel's trans-Atlantic journey.

There are various local monuments to Titanic and her crew.

The ashes of Millvina Dean (2 February 1912 – 31 May 2009), the last (and youngest) of the passengers from the 1912 maiden voyage, would be buried at sea at pier 44, Titanic's original departure point, ninety-seven years later. Twenty miles (32km) to the southeast of Southampton is Portsmouth and the English Channel; Cherbourg is directly across the Channel.

Cherbourg

In France, 281 passengers boarded Titanic on the afternoon of April 10, 1912 in Cherbourg, a seaport 180km (110 miles, 98 nautical miles) due south from Southampton across the English Channel.

It remains possible to make this crossing by ship; the modern ferry crossing runs from Portsmouth and takes three hours. Fares for a car with two passengers are about £120 each way, so it may be less expensive to board without a motorcar.

The stop in Cherbourg, as made by the Titanic journey, involves crossing the English Channel from UK to France and then back across the channel to reach what is now the Irish Republic. Two options from Cherbourg to Cork/Cobh/Queenstown:

Once in Cork, the Passage West Ferry joins Cork to Queenstown (Cobh).

Queenstown

Memorial in Cobh

Cobh (then Queenstown) in County Cork, Ireland is the final port of call for the outbound trans-Atlantic journey.

Modern trans-Atlantic passenger traffic goes directly from London (Heathrow) to St. John's (IATA: YYT) or Halifax (IATA: YHZ) by air, bypassing the former train-to-ship connection at Southampton and the outbound stops in Cherbourg and Queenstown which were common in an era before commercial trans-Atlantic passenger flight. There are air connections at Cork for London and Belfast, as well as rail from Cork-Cobh and Cork-Dublin.

From Ireland, there are no direct connections to Halifax or to Newfoundland, although Shannon and Dublin do have flights to Toronto and New York City.

From the United Kingdom, it remains possible to board an ocean liner from Southampton to New York City, even today. Cunard (which operated the Carpathia in Titanic's era) now plies this route aboard the Queen Mary 2, taking about seven days for a trans-Atlantic crossing by ship. This trip does not replicate every stop made by the outbound RMS Titanic, but does match both principal endpoints. A train to Southampton departs London hourly.

There is a direct flight from New York City to St. John's, from which Cape Race would be reachable by motorcar. There is no rail network on the island of Newfoundland in the modern era.

Cape Race

Cape Race, on Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, is the site of Marconi's wireless telegraph station (MCE) which serves as the first point of radio contact with the New World for arriving ships. As soon as this station comes into range on April 14, 1912, the ship's two wireless operators spring to life, busily delivering messages from rich and famous passengers who paid for telegrams relayed onward through this station to New York heralding their imminent arrival.

RMS Titanic does not stop anywhere in the Dominion of Newfoundland, but does rely on this station as point of first contact to relay messages. Currently, trans-Atlantic passengers may travel from London to St. John's by air. From there, Newfoundland Highway 10 leads 150km/90mi south to Portugal Cove South and Cape Race Road, which follows the southernmost portion of the Avalon peninsula to Cape Race, a remote lighthouse site near the end of a 20km (12 mile) gravel road.

Onward modern connections to the Canadian mainland are by ship (ferry on the Trans-Canada Highway from Port-aux-Basques NL to Cape Breton NS) or by air (St. John's directly to Halifax).

Halifax

Two ships carry Titanic passengers onward from (41.46°N, 50.14°W) to North America. Mackay-Bennett, a cable installation ship, brings deceased to Halifax while the Cunard luxury liner Carpathia brings survivors to New York City.

Halifax is the closest large mainland city to the Titanic site and therefore plays a significant role in Titanic's history. Its road and rail connections lead westward through New Brunswick toward Montréal, where onward connections could (and still can) be made to New York. It is also possible to follow the coast by road from Nova Scotia through New Brunswick and New England to reach New York City (but passenger trains no longer cross northern Maine).

New York and the US

Memorial Lighthouse

New York City is the endpoint of the original Titanic itinerary, with just over seven hundred Titanic passengers disembarking from the Carpathia amidst much fanfare and newspaper coverage to continue onward by train to various parts of the US.

There are various US museums and memorials dedicated to Titanic and those aboard, many of them far from the original cities on the Southampton to New York journey. Many artefacts were recovered by an Atlanta-based submarine operation which held salvage rights to the vessel and are housed in that city. The Titanic Historical Society operates a Titanic Museum near Springfield MA and publishes the quarterly magazine, The Titanic Commutator.

Injured Titanic survivors were taken to St. Vincent's Hospital (7th Ave. and West 12th St.), which closed in 2010. The American Seamen's Friend Society (113 Jane St.), a sailors lodging which housed ship's crew in rooms designed to resemble sea cabins, is now the boutique Jane Hotel. The former New York headquarters of White Star Line at 9 Broadway, then surrounded by crowds of people desperate to learn Titanic’s fate, now contains retail stores. John Jacob Astor's original Waldorf-Astoria served as a US Senate hearing venue for one of the two Titanic enquiries (the other was conducted by the United Kingdom); the Empire State Building now occupies that site.

Titanic-related sites outside the New York area include:

Stay safe

The North Atlantic tends to be cold in spring and early summer, as ocean currents carry breaking icebergs from the Arctic southward to the Newfoundland coast. Water temperature can drop to a chilly 28F (-2C). It is therefore advisable to dress warmly as temperatures on the open ocean are substantially below those experienced inland at this time of year.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.