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.
 
G

George Pastarmatzis

Member
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
 
G

George Pastarmatzis

Member
Thank you Brian! by the way, in the 97' movie Rose and the rest could not have boarded so late or could this also take place?
 
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
 
J

Jeremy Lee

Member
The passengers for different classes did board at different gangways, so anyone knows the location? Thanks!
 
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
 
J

Jeremy Lee

Member
Thanks Brian!

Oh yes, I remembered the First Class entrance D Deck vestibules that were discovered on GOTA.
 
D

Daniel Klistorner

Member
I don't think that the 1st class D deck entrances were used for boarding at all for Titanic's maiden voyage.
 
J

Jeremy Lee

Member
That means those newly discovered D Deck gates at the entrances were never used before??!! What was the reason?
 
G

George Pastarmatzis

Member
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
 
D

Daniel Klistorner

Member
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.
 
L

Lee Gilliland

Member
Then how were the tender passengers in Cherbourg and Queenstown boarded? Through the lower doors closer to the surface of the sea?
 
Top