The RMS Titanic set sail with an estimated 2,224 passengers. The ship itself was 882.75 feet long and had a maximum breadth of 92.5 feet. While it was less than 63% of its maximum capacity on this maiden voyage, it would still have been very crowded if everyone decided to stroll upon the deck at the same time.

I suppose that the shipbuilders didn't foresee a time in which everyone would simultaneously venture out on the deck. After all, modern cruise ships create various destinations on board to help alleviate crowds. However, the aftermath of Titanic's collision with an iceberg was one of those moments. In those final hours, nearly everyone onboard the ship was probably trying to get onto the upper deck.

How crowded were the decks?

A few years ago, my wife and I disembarked on a leisure cruise. We were newlyweds and looked forward to the food and amenities aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas. In fact, we chose the Rhapsody of the Seas because it wasn't as large (and crowded) as some of the newer ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet. We hoped that we would have smaller lines for onboard activities in-between our island hopping excursions.

However, even our ship was crowded at times.

The Rhapsody of the Seas had a similar size and capacity with the RMS Titanic. The Rhapsody of the Seas had a total passenger/crew capacity of 3,181. This is similar to the 3,327 of the RMS Titanic. During a few occasions, the decks were crowded. One such time was during the muster drill.


This was definitely one of those moments in which you could get lost in a crowd. Despite my above-average height, I had difficulty seeing very far through the crowd on deck.

Were Titanic's final hours similar?
Are there testimonies of survivors who mentioned just how crowded the decks had become prior to the sinking?

I've read accounts (in the Senate and British inquiries) where people mentioned that they sort of gave up in trying to reach a certain area on the ship. Was this due to crowds?
I recall Archibald Gracie's quote to Clinch Smith about suggesting to move further aft, when suddenly a swarm of humanity arose from the lower decks blocking their path.

On an average day, I don't imagine the decks being exceptionally crowded - in first class, you have the A-deck, and boat deck to enjoy among 325 people, not all who'd be enjoying it at the same time.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Gaston Sam

According to Samuel Hemming there were between one and two hundred people (no women) on deck when he was working on Collapsible B on the roof of the officers' quarters. This crowd was ordered to go over the starboard side to even the ship up and they apparently obeyed, or at least left the area; there had been some trouble with men rushing Collapsible D when it was being loaded and it seems they had left when it was ready to be lowered, as stated by John Hardy.
Now, I think there's some debate around how crowded was the port side when Titanic's bridge went under, some claiming there was a crowd and some claiming there was hardly anyone but some crew members working on Collapsible B and a couple passengers. But it looks like the starboard side was indeed overcrowded by that point.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Well at the end it must have been very crowded. If say as many as 200 people were still below decks that would have left at least 1300 people scrambling aft. I don't even believe there were 200 below at the end but that number will never be known for sure. I'm just going by what survivors said they saw and what it sounded like with all the victims in the water.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user