How long was the voyage from Queenstown to NYC


How long was the Titanic's voyage expected to take? I'm doing some research and am having trouble finding out how long the voyage from Queenstown Ireland to Ellis Island New York took around the same time that Titanic sailed. The ships I'm researching are actually the Caronia I and the Oceanic II.

The Caronia I arrived in Ellis Island on May 4, 1913 and the Oceanic II arrived on July 6, 1910. Can anyone tell me about how long it would have taken for these ships to travel from Queenstown Ireland to Ellis Island New York?
 
Hallo, Danielle, and welcome to the forum. Those ships would normally make the crossing in 7 days. The Caronia, for instance, left Queenstown on August 3rd and disembarked its passengers in New York on August 10th, 1913. In the same year, the Oceanic left Queenstown on 20 Nov and arrived in New York on 27 November.
 
In 1911, Olympic would pull up anchor at Queenstown about noon on a Thursday and was expected to arrive at quarantine off Staten Island in in New York harbor late on Tuesday night. She would then be docked at Pier 59 by about 8 am Wednesday morning to discharge passengers. The crossing times were measured when they took departure from the Daunt's Rock LV outside of Queenstown harbor until they passed the Ambrose Channel LV before entering NY harbor. On her third westbound crossing, Olympic made the 2890 nautical mile crossing in 5 days, 12 hours, 23 minutes from Daunt's Rock to Ambrose at an average crossing speed over ground of 21.83 knots.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
On the two specific trips you mentioned, Danielle, Caronia called at Queenstown on 27 April 1913, and Oceanic on 30 June 1910. Source: The New York Times, 18 April 1913 and 1 July 1910.

One additional note: Liners themselves did not go to Ellis Island; there were (and are) no docking facilities there capable of handling large ships. Rather, the passengers processed through Ellis Island were taken there by barge or ferry after the liner on which they arrived cleared Quarantine.
 
Right, Mark, I knew that, I was just using Ellis Island as a general because I know that most immigrants were processed through there at that time. Thank you though for the dates, that helps a ton because it is those two voyages that will be in my book. Very helpful, thank you.
 
So the ship would dock Tuesday and unload Wednesday morning? Like the Edinburgh sleeper gets there when you're in the land of nod and when the porter knocks on your door w/brekkie (in First Class), you wake up and face the day w/yer coffee, Scottish Times, croissant, OJ &c.?
 
>>So the ship would dock Tuesday and unload Wednesday morning?<<

Not exactly. They could, but Quarantine was an anchorage where a ship would drop her anchor and...among other formalities...wait until the health authorities cleared her to dock. Given the sort of diseases that were running rampant in those days, this was actually a sensible precaution.
 
>>Michael, the health authorities would check the steerage passengers whilst the Second and First class ones snoozed away the night?<<

Something like that. At least that's my understanding of how it worked. Most of the time, there wouldn't be any reason to do more then a few checks and without even waking up the steerage. However, if it turned out that some really nasty bug got loose on the ship, then for obvious reasons, she wouldn't be allowed to dock. Not without some signifigent precautions anyway. The idea behind Quarantine was to make sure there were no problems, and to keep things contained and under control if there were.

We might think that some aspects of this were discriminatory, but keep in mind that there were a lot of diseases which were as deadly as they were contagious which were running around loose back then. Vaccinations were a reletively new development, anti-biotics were essentially non-existant, and those who traveled in the steerage were a lot more likely to be infected then those who were in the higher socio-economic classes.

Playing it safe was just good sense.
 
>>Are there any articles or chapters of books that explain this process? Cheers, JG<<

I'm sure there are, however what little I know is information picked up piecemeal over the years. The examinations would have started before a third class passenger even boarded the ship, and anyone found to be infected with something would be denied boarding. Harsh but it tended to nip things in the bud then and there. Since the shipping lines were financially responsible for repatriation of a person was denied entry into the United States, they tended to be rather thorough about it.

Aside from not wanting to put others at risk, they didn't want to get stuck with the bills for taking somebody back to wherever they came from.
 
While a ship was anchored in the 'quarantine ground' an immigration inspector and a doctor would be ferried aboard to examine the general conditions and health situation on the ship, to inquire about any specific incidents like a death, and to inspect the passenger manifests. The 3rd Class and Steerage passengers would not normally be inspected at this point (their turn would come later at Ellis Island) but the inspectors would need to be satisfied that any 'aliens' among the 1st and 2nd Class passengers were in good health, or at least showed no signs of contagious disease. I daresay this involved an examination of paperwork and consultation with the ship's doctors, rather than a personal examination of the passengers. If any were found to be suspect, they were marked for further examination along with the Steerage at Ellis Island. On average, about 2-3% of the cabin class passengers were consigned to Ellis.

These procedures 'at quarantine' didn't take very long, but the inspectors' working day was from 7am to 5pm, so ships arriving in the evening were obliged to anchor for the night before they could receive attention.

There are many personal accounts of the Ellis Island inspection procedures. Here's one from 1911, told by a Norwegian immigrant bound for Chicago:

"We finally docked and went ashore. Our luggage came ashore, and had to be opened for custom inspection. Next both we and our luggage were put on a ferry and taken to Ellis Island. Getting off, we lined up two abreast, told to remove our hats and marched along a cement sidewalk up to the office building on the Island. On the way, a couple of doctors would look us over. They had a sort of tong, not unlike the curling irons women used to curl their hair with, before the unpermanent permanents came in style. With those they caught our upper eyelashes and turned up our eyelids. They were really good, we didn't even have to stop as we paced slowly by them. If we were passed, no marks were put on us, if they felt we needed closer examination, a chalkmark was put on your coat or overcoat, if you wore one. Inside, the building had alleys and pens, almost like the stockyards; we would pass up the alley with here and there a desk with a man behind it, to examine our papers and ask questions. In the end we were given our railroad tickets and were considered ready to enter the Promised Land. We got into a large assembly Hall with a counter along one sidewalk where we could buy eats and drinks, and also package lunch boxes to sustain us on the railroad trip to Chicago."
.
 

Jeffery

Member
I've been researching at what time Titanic would have reached pier 59 in New York and how many miles it had left in its journey. My best research has turned up that Titanic was expected to reach pier 59 the morning of Wednesday, April 17th. By the time she encountered the iceberg, she had covered approximately 1,641 miles, with approximately 1,253 miles left to go, but I honestly got those numbers by measuring her location on Google Earth. Is there some way to confirm this information?
 
Top