Boarding procedures


R

Richard Coplen

Guest
Hey all,
I've always wondered what procedure the Titanic's passengers would have followed before they boarded the ship. I mean was the White Star Terminal in Southampton in any way like a modern international airport? Was there check-in desks with conveyor-belts? Was there passport-control? Was there security-checks? And so on. What exact procedure would a passenger have followed between arriving at the terminal and boarding the Titanic??? Look forward to your theories!
Richie.
 
E

Emily Bisignano

Guest
The 1997 film Titanic pretty accurately dipicts how one would board a ship in those days. Passengers boarded on the port side of the Titanic. There were porters that went around and carried your luggage to your room if you were in 1st class. Crew members would also unpack and put away your luggage items. I'm not really sure about the second class passengers though. I guess that they got the same treatment. I know that if you were in 3rd class, you would have to go through a health inspection before you boarded and take what little luggage you had with you to your room. You could also put some of your baggage into the cargo holds though they would often times get lost. There weren't really any security checks in those days. When you arrived at the enterance, a crewmember would ask your name and write it down for the passenger list. These were made into booklet form for the 1st class passengers and put into your stateroom so you could see the who's-who of the ship.
 
Jun 4, 2003
332
1
183
Hi! Did anyone go immediately to his or her cabin or chose to stroll on deck and wave good-bye? Also, was there any kind of formal "welcome aboard" event or gathering in first class? Thanks!
 
B

Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi George,

Usually boarding ocurred at least an hour or more before the ship sailed, so you would most likely go to your cabin and get settled then if you chose, you could go onto the Promenades to wave or whatnot.

As far as I know, there were no "welcome aboard" events in any class on Titanic or Olympic in 1911/12, they may have started later on in Olympic's career however.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
B

Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi George,

I would assume that you could board late and that there would be leeway time worked into the boarding schedule, but I would imagine after a certain deadline that the gangways would be closed until sailing.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
B

Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi Jeremy,

All passengers boarded on the port side of the ship.

Its been awhile since I worked with boarding locations, however If memory serves me correctly

First Class boarded from two gangways, one forward on B Deck and one below it on D Deck.

Second Class boarded from a gangway on C Deck aft

And Third Class boarded on a gangway on E Deck aft
 
Jun 4, 2003
332
1
183
Hi! Didn't Rose and others board the ship on D deck? Is that false, too? I believe I have read accounts of people using that part of the ship in Southampton and/or Cherbourg! Thanks!
 
S

Scott R. Andrews

Guest
Fr. Browne's photo looking down the port side of the ship was taken from the boarding gangway used by the first class passengers that day, at the B-deck level. The gangways were extended to the side of the ship from two portable towers of sorts, which had gangways on two levels. Looking down the quay, you can see the lower gangway extended to the C-deck entrance being used by the second class passengers. There were alternate boarding positions provided for both classes: shell doors on D deck for first class, and gangway doors in the bulwarks on B deck and shell doors on E deck for second class. These locations pretty well accommodated any condition of tides in Southampton or NY, as well as boarding by tender.

Daniel, regarding the use of the first class entrances on D deck, were these not used by the first class passengers embarking and disembarking via the Nomadic at Cherbourg? If not, then where did the first class come aboard from the Nomadic? Were they lead through second class passage into first class on E deck?

Regards,
Scott Andrews
 
Dec 7, 2000
1,348
14
313
Scott,

That is correct, both 1st and 2nd class passengers boarded through the aft starboard E deck gangway. While I think Traffic was boarding 3rd class passengers through the fore E deck port gangway.

Daniel.
 

Charles

Member
May 30, 1999
179
3
263
USA
Ok you guys are all wrong! The D Deck first class entrance was used! I know that from Ken Marshalls paintings and other resources.
 

Charles

Member
May 30, 1999
179
3
263
USA
I mean, you guys forgot about how the passengers got on Titanic at Cherbourg and Southampton.

Ken Marschall's painting shows that passengers disembarked off the Nomadic and boarded onto a gangway that lead to the D Deck entrance
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Mar 16, 2000
5,055
339
433
Never mind about how people got on board. The formalities are more important.

For migrants, the first step was to undergo a basic medical check. Those who passed were given Inspection Cards, stamped by an official from the US consulate in Southampton. These were for the guidance of officials in the USA. A few cards still exist.

Passenger tickets were very large pieces of paper. I don't have exact dimensions, but they were well on the way to A3. On the right edge was a detachable strip. The names of passengers covered by the ticket were written on the main part of the ticket and also on the detachable strip. On the front of the ticket was a small sticker, printed in red, that drew attention to conditions printed on the back of the main part. These conditions amounted to "You're on your own and White Star is not responsible for your safety." They would be looked at hard in the civil courts.

The tickets were not transferable and so Jack and Fabrizio could not have used the tickets won from the Swedes. Nor could Richard Sturges have bought a ticket from an emigrant as in the 1953 movie.

On boarding, the detachable part of the ticket was removed and kept in the purser's office. They were used to make up a passenger list. The passengers kept the main part, which amounted to a contract document. No Titanic tickets survive, but a few unused White Star tickets exist. One of the little stickers exists, having been saved by a passenger who cancelled.

In passing, there are quite a number of fake tickets about. They are nothing like the real thing, having been made for things like theatre restaurants where customers play the roles of Titanic passengers. Most date from the 90s.
 

Harland Duzen

Member
Jan 14, 2017
1,594
722
188
Does anyone on this forum definitely know which side of Cherbourg Titanic entered and left by? All photos that exist are either taken from either land or the sea wall making it impossible to tell which way she was facing.

Any Help or Knowledge would be very useful.
 
May 3, 2005
2,599
289
278
Would a ticket be something akin to today's boarding pass ?
Would you have to have a ticket to get on one of the tenders at Cherbourg or Queenstown ?
Was boarding only on the one hour or so before the time of sailing on the day of sailing and not before ?
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Similar threads