Titanic Size Comparison to Modern Cruise Ships
When the Titanic was launched in 1912 it was considered the biggest made-made object ever built to float on the waters. It was an incredible engineering achievement since modern technology was still in its infancy near the beginning of the twentieth century. The idea of the Titanic was first conceived in Lord and Lady Pirrie’s Downshire home in London, six years before its fateful maiden voyage. Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie wanted to build the largest luxury ship ever. How large was this ship? Was it about the size of the modern day cruise ships some of us are familiar with, or does its size pale in comparison?
Surprising Facts About the Titanic
- The Titanic was registered as a British ship despite the fact that it was owned by an American. John Pierpoint Morgan was the owner of the White Star Line. In 1902, when he brought the White Star Line in Britain, it was originally called the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company. It's office was located at 9 Broadway, New York City.
- The Titanic was not christened by breaking a champagne bottle against its hull. The movie, "A Night To Remember", had it wrong. The White Star Line did not believe in this practice. The sister ships of theTitanic were not christened either during launch.
- When the Titanic sank there were no priceless jewelries aboard it. However, a Renault sports car went down with her.
- There was no 300 foot long gash along the hull of the ship from the collision with the iceberg. The damaged area was only 12 square feet in size. This was determined by a 1996 expedition using a sonar device to scan the hull buried in 60 feet of sand.
- The Titanic had enough boats for 1,178 passengers. The requirement at the time was that there were enough boats to ferry people back and forth to a rescue ship. Also they figured that the Titanic's watertight compartments would keep the ship afloat for awhile. If the Carpathia had arrived in time everyone on the ship would have been rescued before the ship sank. It took 2 hours and 40 minutes for the ship to sink. That was plenty of time to rescue everyone aboard. Also 465 (of the available 1,178) lifeboat seats went unfilled during that fateful night.
For Its Time the Titanic Was the Biggest Ship
Let me begin with the fact that the Titanic was a large ship for its time. It was longer than the famous Lusitania by more than a 100 feet. The Lusitania itself was 790 feet in length. Before the shipbuilders could begin construction on the ship, three berths at the Belfast shipyard had to be modified to accommodate it. The other two ships built there were the sister ships of the Titanic, the Olympic and Britannic. Also across the Atlantic, modifications had to be made to the pier in New York City harbor to receive these larger ships. Construction of the Titanic officially began on March 31, 1909, and it would continue for approximately two years until May 31,1911, when the hull was completed. It would take another 10 months to put the final touches (fitting-out of the ship) on the ship before it sailed to Belfast for her sea trials on April 2, 1912, eight days before her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
Titanic Facts By the Number
The Titanic and its sister ships did not hold the distinction of being the largest ships for long, even though they were 883 feet long from bow to stern. By 1934 the luxury cruise ship Queen Mary took the honor of being the longest and largest ship. It would beat the Titanic by 136 feet in length. It length of 1,019 feet was equivalent to more than three football fields laid end-to-end. It would not be until the 1990s that another cruise ship would we built longer than the Queen Mary. Many of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships today have lengths greater than the Queen Mary. Believe it or not they are only one foot longer than the Queen Mary. The newest ships, The Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, launched in 2010 and 2011 respectively, are considered the largest cruise ships in the world with a length of 1,187 feet, about 304 feet longer or another football field longer than the Titanic.
- Beam or Width
After the Titanic was built with a beam of 93 feet, the beam of later cruise ships stayed relatively the same width until 2004 when the Queen Mary 2 was launched. It had a beam of 148 feet; which was about 55 feet wider than the Titanic’s beam. Before that time, the beam of the first Queen Mary, launched in 1934, was 32 feet wider than the Titanic. Currently the beam of the Oasis of the Seas, and its sister ship Allure of the Seas, is almost double the width of the Titanic. Another way of looking at this is to imagine two Titanic ships side-by-side as one ship. That is a big increase in width.
When the Titanic was built it had nine decks for a total height of 175 feet, which is equivalent to the height of a eleven story building. The Oasis of the Seas has 16 decks, with the ship towering at a height of 236 feet. That is about 20 stories high. Another ship currently sailing the seas, the Disney Dream, has 14 decks for passengers and crew.
To move about 2,500 passengers from one deck to another, four elevators were used aboard the Titanic. Three elevators were used for the first class passengers and one for the second class passengers. The Oasis of the Seas has a total of 24 elevators aboard to move more than 6,000 passengers from one deck to another.
With all these decks came ample space for amenities such as pools, gymnasium, spas, dining areas, theaters, etc. When the Titanic was first designed there were only one pool on the ship. The Oasis of the Seas has 21 pools and jacuzzis on the ship for passengers to cool down in. One of the main, and unique, features of the Oasis of the Seas is the living park made of more than 12,000 living plants and trees, with some of them as tall as 24 feet in height. However, there were real palm trees on the Titanic in the Veranda Cafe making it the first ship to have real trees on its deck.
- Gross Tonnage
Gross tonnage is the overall internal volume of a ship as measured from its keel to the funnel, and from stern to bow, to the outside of the hull of the ship. It is a measurement without units and is used to set port fees, safety rules, etc. Today’s cruise ships obviously have larger internal volume than the Titanic since they are much larger. With a gross tonnage of 225,282, the Oasis of the Seas is five times larger than the Titanic. The Titanic was a mere 46,000 in volume. Even the Disney Dream cruise ship is almost three times larger than the Titanic is in internal volume.
Everyone who has been on a cruise ship knows that speed is not a desirable quality since they are not built to move through the waters very fast. This is what cruising is all about: moving along slowly from one port to another port in days, instead of hours. The Titanic was designed by Lord Pirrie and Ismay with luxury and comfort in mind, rather than speed. As a result, the Titanic’s maximum speed was limited by design to about 22 knots. At that time, competing ship designers wanted to break the speed record crossing the Atlantic.
Today cruise ships are pretty much still design for the same reason as the Titanic to cruise at roughly the same maximum speed established in 1912. In 1934 the Queen Mary had a top speed of 29 knots and the Queen Mary 2 in 2004 had a maximum speed of 30 knots. But generally most cruise ships still cruise around that speed of 22 knots for safety reasons and to minimize fuel consumption. Even the largest ship Oasis of the Seas cruises around 23 knots despite its power and size. As stated before, it is not about speed in the cruising industry. It is about luxury and comfort. This is what Pirrie and Ismay started 100 years ago. Unfortunately, the officers aboard the Titanic ironically disregarded the main reason why this magnificent ship was built for luxury and comfort, not for speed. This was one of a series of events that led to the tragic lost of more than 1,500 lives at sea after the ship struck an iceberg on that fateful, cold night of April 14, 1912.
Summary of Titanic Facts
When was the Titanic Built?
- Construction started March 31, 1909.
Where was the Titanic built?
- It was built at Belfast, United Kingdom.
When did the Titanic sink?
- The night of April 14, 1912 into the early morning hours April 15, 1912.
How long did it take the Titanic to sink?
- It rook 2 hours 40 minutes after ship struck iceberg at 11:40 PM
Where did the Titanic sink?
- It sank in the North Atlantic Ocean.
What is the exact location of the Titanic wreck on the ocean floor?
- The location is 41degrees 43.5 minutes North 49 degrees 56.8 minutes West, about 370 miles south-southeast of Newfoundland.
Number of passengers on the Titanic?
- There were 2229 passengers onboard the ship.
Number of survivors rescued after the Titanic sinking?
- There were 713 survivors after the sinking.
The Titanic's Environmental Impact
- A Geological Study of The Titanic Shipwreck Site
An examination of the Titanic shipwreck site from a geological perspective. What been happening in the area around the shipwreck since it hit the North Atlantic ocean floor more than 100 years ago.
© 2012 Melvin Porter