RMS Titanic: Fact sheet

The Titanic was a mighty ship indeed but how did she measure up to the other great liners of her age?

No passenger ship has ever captured the public imagination like Titanic and with the golden age of travel by ship long over, it is unlikely that any future ship will. Naturally, there are many myths and the information below should help you sift fact from fiction.

The biggest, fastest, safest...

The Titanic was claimed by its builders to be ‘practically unsinkable’, a bold claim but slightly less bold than the bare ‘unsinkable’ claims that movies have added to the story.

She was at launch the largest object ever to move on the water but she was not designed to be the fastest (Cunard’s Lusitania and Mauretania were always going to be faster). Stories of her captain trying to make a speed record are without substance.

A 'luxury hotel at sea'?

The accommodation on Titanic was luxurious and spacious. In first class there were many new attractions such as squash courts, a Turkish bath, a gymnasium, a barber shop and also the first swimming pool on board a ship. Even the cheaper third class cabins were of a better standard than those on other liners. Nevertheless, there were more luxurious and spectacular liners in operation at the time.

She was designed to be a large-capacity workhorse on a commercially lucrative but competitive route.

 Oceanic Steam Navigation Company (Ismay, Imrie & Co) popularly known as the White Star Line

Builders: Harland and Wolff, Belfast

Ship type: steel triple screw steamer


Detailed ship statistics

Registered dimensions:

  • Length: 852.5 feet
  • Length overall: 882.75 feet
  • Breadth: 92.5 feet
  • Depth: 59.6 feet
  • Tonnage:
Gross: 46,329 (Net 21,831)

Number of decks: 7


  • 2 triple-expansion 8 cylinder engines and 1 low pressure turbine
  • Registered horsepower: 6906
  • Total horsepower: 46,000
  • Service speed: 21 knots
  • Estimated top speed: 23/24 knots

Passenger capacity

  • First class: 735
  • Second class: 674
  • Third class: 1026
  • Crew: 885

Losses: 1523 people; 815 passengers and 688 crew

Number of lifeboats: 20; capacity 1178 persons

Sister ships

  • Olympic: launched 20 October 1910, arrived at Jarrow for scrapping 13 October 1935
  • Britannic: launched 26 February 1914, sunk by mine 21 November 1916

Significant dates and times

  • 31 March 1909: Laid down
  • 31 May 1911: Launched
  • 31 March 1912: Completed
  • 2 April 1912: Sea trials (Belfast Lough and the Irish Sea)
  • 12.15, 10 April 1912: Sailed from Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York via Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland
  • 18.35, 10 April 1912: Arrived Cherbourg
  • 20.10, 10 April 1912: Sailed from Cherbourg
  • 11.30, 11 April 1912: Arrived Queenstown
  • 13.30, 11 April 1912: Sailed from Queenstown
  • 09.00, 14 April 1912: First ice warning, received from Caronia
  • 23.40, 14 April 1912: Collision with iceberg
  • 00.45, 15 April 1912: Wireless call for assistance, first transmission, using code CQD. Transmission altered to the new code SOS, first use of this code by a passenger liner.
  • 02.10, 15 April 1912: Last transmission
  • 02.20, 15 April 1912: Titanic foundered
  • 04.10, 15 April 1912: First lifeboat picked up by Carpathia
  • 21.25, 18 April 1912: Carpathia docked in New York
  • 1 September 1985: Titanic wreck site located, approx 2.5 miles below the Atlantic, by a joint French/USA expedition