In Part II of the Titanic Miniseries, we’ll be taking a look at:
  • Passengers boarding in Cherbourg and Queenstown
  • Meet and greets with passengers in all three classes
  • How passengers ate and entertained themselves

Listen on: iTunes | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn | RadioPublic | iHeartRadio | Android


Bonjour, Cherbourg!

When the Titanic reached Cherbourg, France, she had to drop anchor since she was too big for the small port. So how did the passengers board, you ask?

White Star, thinking ahead, had Harland and Wolff build two small steamboats to ferry the passengers to the ship. The Nomadic carried the first and second-class passengers, while the Traffic carried the third-class passengers.

Passengers boarding in each class:

  • First-class passengers: 142
  • Second-class passengers: 30
  • Third-class passengers: 102

Unfortunately, because of the near miss with the liner New York in Southampton, the Titanic arrived later than she was scheduled. As a result, the passengers had been sitting on the steamboats with their luggage since around 5:00 p.m. until around 6:30 p.m. when the Titanic arrived.

It took about an hour and a half to load the luggage and for the passengers to board. A little after 8:00 p.m., the Titanic set sail for Queenstown.

Queen Victoria

Cove, Queenstown, Cobh: We’re telling you, it’s all the same place

Queenstown, originally known as Cobh, was renamed after Queen Victoria to honor her visit in 1849. However, the town was once more renamed to Cobh in 1922 after Ireland became an indepedent nation.

Around 11:00 a.m. the next morning, the Titanic once again dropped anchor as she was too big to fit in the Irish port. As was done in Cherbourg, two small boats ferried passengers to the ship.

The Ireland carried the first and second-class passengers as well as nearly 1,400 bags of mail the Titanic was taking to New York. After all, her full name was the RMS Titanic — Royal Mail Steamer.

The America, which carried all of the third-class passengers, followed soon after. Most of these passengers were Irish emigrants leaving Ireland for good, hoping to start a new and better life in America.

Passengers boarding in each class:

  • First-class passengers: 3
  • Second-class passengers: 7
  • Third-class passengers: 113

Second-Class Spoils

Many of the passengers who traveled in second-class would have been traveling in first-class on other liners. So why weren’t they doing just that on the Titanic? Some of the passengers chose to pay less since the amenities of second class were just as good.

Second-class wasn’t much different from first-class in terms of luxury; however, the engines could be heard from the second-class accommodations, but at least they had more natural light.

The Ever So Luxurious Third-Class

Considering the time, it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that single men and women were housed on separate ends of the ship. Most of the rooms slept between 2-4 passengers, but there were larger rooms available that slept anywhere from 6-10 passengers for larger parties and families.

While there were only 2 bathtubs to serve the 700 or so passengers on the maiden voyage, it was still a luxury. Before there were three classes, the third class passengers weren’t allowed to wash themselves below deck.

Sounds delightful, right? We thought so too. But that’s not all! They would also have to go up to the deck to go to the bathroom. Where everyone could see. So the privacy the Titanic offered the passengers was a huge bonus.

Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous

Colonel John Jacob Astor IV

Benjamin Guggenheim

  • Millionaire traveling with his French mistress, Ninette, who was a cabaret singer
  • On his way back to New York for his daughter’s 9th birthday

Colonel John Jacob Astor IV

  • Considered one of the wealthiest men in the world in 1912
  • Divorced his first wife, Ava, once his mother passed away
    • Had 2 children together: a son, William Vincent Astor, and a daughter, Alice, though she may or may not have been his
  • On his way back to New York with his pregnant new wife Madeleine Astor and his Airedale terrier, Kitty, after spending 10 weeks in Europe and Egypt

Frank Millet

  • Famous artist and writer
  • Just finished a teaching gig at the American Academy of Art in Rome where he also spent some time with his wife Lily
  • Lily left for New York on an earlier ship, while Frank was traveling back to Washington with his friend Archie Butt
  • Was friends with Mark Twain and attended his wedding

Lady Duff Gordon

Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon

  • Cosmo was a rich landowner from Scotland (a Scottish baronet in fact) who went to the 1906 Olympics for fencing, where he won a silver medal
  • Lady Duff Gordon was a famous and high in demand dress designer, not just in Europe, but in America as well
  • They were on their way to New York to sign a lease on a larger shop so she could expand her business

Henry B. and Rene Harris

  • Henry courted Rene the proper way, sending her flowers and taking her to dinner until she couldn’t even focus while she was doing her job because she was so smitten
  • When they married, Renee left her job to help Henry, who was a Broadway producer, with his work, which included administrative work and helping with rehearsals
  • They were on their way back from Paris where they had spent some time trying to find new shows to bring to his theatres in New York

Isidor Straus

Isidor Straus

  • A former New York Congressman, he was also co-owner of Macy’s
  • Was traveling with his wife Ida after vacationing on the French Riviera

Margaret Tobin Brown

  • Was separated from her millionaire husband, James J. Brown, so she was traveling alone
  • Spent some time with the Astors in Egypt
  • Booked a ticket to New York from Paris right after finding out her first grandchild, Lawrence Brown Jr, who was only 4 months old, was very sick

Margaret “Molly” Tobin Brown

Helen Churchill Candee

  • Booked passage after receiving word that her son Harold, who was 25, had been hurt in a plane crash

Major Archibald Butt

  • Went by “Archie”
  • Was the military aide to both President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt when he was in office and President William Howard Taft
  • Left Washington to get away from the stress of Taft’s re-election campaign and spent some time with Millett in Rome
  • Was returning home to resume his post in Washington

Major Archibald Butt

Karl Behr

  • 26-year-old tennis player, ranked 3rd in America

Norris Williams

  • A Swiss tennis player born to Philadelphia-born parents
  • Was going to play tennis in the U.S. before attending Harvard that fall
  • The great-great-great-grandson of none other than Benjamin Franklin

The Ryersons

  • Traveling was Arthur Ryerson Sr., his wife Emily, their 21 year-old daughter Suzette, 18 year-old daughter Emily, and their 13 year-old son Jack
  • Part of the Philadelphia Main Line social circle
  • Their son, Arthur Jr. was a student at Yale and had been killed in a car accident
  • The family was on their way back for his funeral, which was set for April 19

John B. Thayer

  • From Haverford, Pennsylvania
  • John was a vice-president of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company
  • Was returning to New York with his wife, Marian, and their son Jack, who was 17 years-old

George D. Widener

  • He and his wife Eleanor were in France on behalf of their Philadelphia hotel, the Ritz Carlton – they were looking for a new chef
  • Owned multiple businesses, aside from the one above, including a streetcar business left to him by his father
  • Traveling with their 27 year-old son Harry
    • He liked to collect rare books, and already possessed a Gutenberg Bible and some of Shakespeare’s earlier pages

Edgar and Leila Meyer

  • A couple from New York who had left Paris after finding out that Leila’s father, Andrew Saks — yes, that Saks, Saks Fifth Avenue — had passed away on April 8

Archibald Gracie IV

  • Lost his father, who was a Confederate Brigadier General, when he was 5
  • He was curious about his father’s life and service
  • Wrote a book, The Truth About Chickamauga, about the 1863 battle his father had been in

William Stead

The Speddens

  • Frederic Spedden was traveling with his wife Margaretta, who preferred to go by “Daisy,” their young son Douglas — who was the apple of their eye —, Daisy’s maid, and Douglas’s nanny Elizabeth Margaret Burns, who Douglas cutely called “Muddie Boons”
  • Returning home after spending some time in Algiers, Monte Carlo, Cannes, and Paris

William Stead

  • A famous journalist who tackled important and controversial issues
  • Also known at W.T. Stead

Dorothy Gibson

  • A 28 year-old model, singer, and silent-film actress

Francis Browne

  • Also known as Reverend Browne
  • Still completing his theological studies at the time he boarded the Titanic
  • He was gifted a ticket by his uncle, the Bishop of Cloyne, and disembarked in Queenstown — his intended destination
  • Most famous for the photographs he took aboard the ship
    • 40,000 forgotten negatives were discovered in 1986, 25 years after his death
    • Captured the last surviving photos of many of the passengers, crew, and the first-class dining saloon

Edith Rosenbaum Russell

  • American-born fashion writer on her way to New York from Paris with trunks full of gorgeous and expensive gowns to show to clients
  • Nervous about sailing on the Titanic because of a car crash the previous summer that killed her German fiancé

Second Class Cabins, Top Notch People

Masabumi Hosono

  • The only Japanese passenger on board

Joseph Laroche

  • Born in Haiti and the sole black man on board
  • Traveling with his pregnant wife Juliette Lafargue, a Frenchwoman, and their 2 daughters
  • Wanted to return to Haiti with his family where he hoped to find work

Lawrence Beesley

  • An English Science teacher in search of a better life
  • His son married the one and only Dodie Smith, the incredible author of 101 Dalmatians

Father Thomas Byles

  • Heading to New York to perform the marriage ceremony for his brother
  • Due to the coal strike, he was moved to the Titanic
  • Did not survive the sinking

Annie Clemmer Funk

  • First female Mennonite missionary to be sent to India, where she spent 5 years
  • Received word that her mother was sick and booked passage home
  • Like many others, was transferred to the Titanic because of the coal strike
  • She did not survive

Leopold Weisz

  • Moved from the Jewish quarter in Budapest to England and then to Montreal to make a better life for his family
  • Came back to Europe to bring his wife to their new home in Montreal
  • When his body was recovered, thousands of dollars were found inside the lining of his clothing, which was, of course, returned to his widow

Michel and Edmond, sons of Michel Navratil

Michel Navratil

  • From Slovakia
  • He was in the middle of a divorce
  • Kidnapped his own children, two boys — Michel and Edmond
    • While on the Titanic, he referred to them as Lolo and Momon

The Fritham Boys

  • 3 brothers from the Hickman family and 4 of their friends were traveling to Eden, New York
    • The Hickman boys wanted their entire family to move, but the coal strike prevented them from purchasing more tickets
  • None of the Fritham boys survived


  • The number of Cornishmen aboard the Titanic made up the largest group of travelers in second-class
  • Poldhu, located on the southern coast, was the location of one of the Marconi wireless stations
    • Was the first wireless station to receive a transatlantic message in 1901

A Hearty Hello to Third Class

Carl Asplund

  • Was already working in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Was returning from Smaland with his wife Selma and five children: Filip (13), Gustaf (9), twins Carl and Lillian (5), and Felix (3)
  • The only ones to survive were Selma, Lillian, and Felix

Frank Goldsmith

  • His father-in-law had been urging him to move to Detroit, believing they could make a better wife
  • Initially, Frank was reluctant to go but changed his mind after his youngest son had died of diphtheria at the end of 1911
  • When his father-in-law’s neighbor found out the Goldsmith’s were coming, he sent money to his son, Alfred Rush, so he would travel with them
    • Turned 16 on April 15 and chose to stay behind with Frank Goldsmith during the sinking — both died that night

John and Annie Sage

  • Traveling to Florida via New York with their 9 children
  • None of them survived

Frederick Goodwin

  • Was heading to Niagara Falls with his wife and 6 children because his brother encouraged him to get a job there
  • Transferred to the Titanic because of the coal strike
  • None of them survived

Bertram Dean

  • Moving to Kansas where he was going to open a tobacco store
  • With him was traveling his wife, Eva, their son Bertram (2), and daughter Millvina who was only 2 months old

Alma Palsson

  • Her husband was working in Chicago since 1910 and saved money to bring his family over
  • Alma was traveling with her four children, 2 sons and 2 daughters between the ages of 2 and 8
  • None of them survived

Margaret Ford

  • Husband left her after she gave birth to their fifth child
  • Her oldest daughter was already employed in Long Island, so Margaret and her four children were traveling to meet up with her, as well as some friends and family
  • There were a total of 10 people traveling with her and none of them survived

Rhoda Abbott

  • After her marriage failed, she moved back home to Ireland to live with her mother but was returning to Long Island as that was where her two sons considered home
  • As was the case with many others, they were transferred to the Titanic because of the coal strike
  • Her sons, 16 and 13, did not survive

Addergoole Villagers

  • There was a large group of Addergoole villagers from Ireland — 14 to be exact — traveling in third-class
  • None of them survived

What’s a Cruise Without the Fun and Games?

Olympic Main Reception Room – the Titanic’s was identical

First-Class Options:

  • Turkish baths
  • Take a swim
  • Play some squash
  • Visit the gym and use some of the machines
  • Organize parties, balls, and games
  • Stroll on the deck or lounge in the chairs
  • Play billiards or card games
    • There were notices to warn the first-class passengers about gambling since there were cardsharps on board
  • Bets were taken on how many miles the Titanic could sail in a day
  • Check out books for the first-class library
  • Fully-equipped darkroom so the first class passengers could take and develop the photographs on board

Second-Class Options:

  • A piano was available to play
  • Card games as well as chess
  • Check out books from the second-class library or read the newspaper printed every day on board — The Atlantic Daily Bulletin
  • Stroll on the deck and lounge in the chairs
  • Have a smoke in the smoking room
  • Children were expected to have their own toys and occupy themselves unless they had a nanny on board with them

Third-Class Options:

  • Enjoy the third-class deck and lounge in the chairs
  • Gentlemen had the smoking room
  • The general room, also known as the third-class lounge was where everyone could get together and make friends, play music, dance, etc
    • Think the scene in Cameron’s “Titanic” when Jack takes Rose down to third-class and they’re drinking and dancing and having the times of their lives

Good Eats Make a Good Time

Life aboard the Titanic revolved around food!

Olympic First Class Dining Saloon

First-Class Passengers:

  • Could have morning tea brought to their room, but would have to go down to the dining saloon for breakfast
  • If they were feeling peckish, they could visit the Verandah Cafe where they could get coffee and little foodstuffs, such as sandwiches
  • Titanic observed traditional British Tea around 4:00 p.m., which wasn’t something the Americans were used to
    • Held in The Palm Room and the Cafe Parisien, which was a room exclusive to the Titanic as the Olympic didn’t have the Cafe Parisien
  • The bugler P. W. Fletcher would play “The Roast Beef of Old England” to let the passengers know it was time for lunch
  • A gong would sound in the evening to let the passengers know it’s time to change for dinner, and the Fletcher would play his bugle to announce it’s time for dinner, and they can head to the dining saloon or one of the restaurants
  • Chef Charles Proctor was responsible for making sure the food served was of the very best quality
  • Were served a 7-course meal including soup, chicken, beef, dessert, and a few others

Main Dining Room on the Salon Deck of the Titanic

Second-Class Passengers:

  • Had to make do with only a 4-course meal, which included: soup, fish, chicken, and dessert

There was one kitchen used to prepare the food for the first- and second-class passengers. And both passengers could enjoy the music played by the eight-man orchestra traveling in second class.

Third-Class Passengers:

In comparison to first and second-class, the food wasn’t extravagant by any means. The food was simple, but the cook in charge of preparing the food for third-class took that weight off of their shoulders. In the past, third-class passengers would have to bring their own food and were expected to cook it on the stove provided.

Meals provided on the Titanic:

  • Dinner was served in the middle of the day, and it included: soup, meat, dessert, and fruit
  • They had a tea served later in the evening, which included: a small entree, bread, dessert, and as much tea as they could drink

*Music: Initial classical piece that’s a part of the intro is Concerto for 2 Oboes in F Major Op9 no3, 3 Allegro by Advent Chamber Orchestra under the Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.*