News from 1881 Maiden Voyage of Arabic I


Mark Baber

Staff member
On 20 Sep

On 20 September 1881, Arabic I completed her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York. This story appeared the next day.

The New York Times, 21 September 1881

Two new European steam-ships---the Arabic of the White Star Line, and
the Chí¢teau Leoville, of the “Compagnie Bordelaise de Navigation í 
Vapeur,” arrived at this port yesterday. The Arabic was built at
Belfast, Ireland, in the yard of Harland & Wolff. Her gross measurement
is 4,368 tons, and her hold occupies 225,000 cubic feet of space. Her
dimensions are : Length over all, 444 feet; breadth of beam, 42 feet,
and depth of hold, 31½ feet. Her engines are compound, and were
constructed by Jack & Co., of Liverpool. The Arabic has eight
water-tight compartments. Her saloon is certified to carry 60
first-class passengers, and her between-decks 1,022 immigrants. Her
saloon is amidships well fitted up. It is lighted by electricity and
contains every facility for comfort. The dining saloon is on the main
deck above the state-rooms. There is a long promenade deck for cabin
passengers above the main deck. Along this deck eight large life-boats
are secured. The Arabic has four masts and a whale-back deck at the
forward end and a turtle-back deck aft. She has all of the latest steam
appliances. Her commander is Lieut. William George Pearne, of the Royal
Naval Reserve. She performed her recent trip in a most satisfactory
manner. She was originally built for the Pacific trade, but has been
chartered for a few trips by the Cunard Line.

The Chí¢teau Leoville was built at Sunderville, England. She measures
2,156 tons. Her dimensions are: Length, 360 feet; breadth of beam, 40
feet, and depth of hold, 33 feet. Her cabin is aft and can accommodate
60 first class passengers. Her between-decks afford room for 500
immigrants, She has the usual new steam appliances. Among these are
huge patent winches for discharging cargo. Her engines are compound and
of English make. She promises to be a fast steamer, and is capable of
making the voyage to Bordeaux in 10 days. She is barkentine rigged, and
is provided with six life-boats. Her main deck is guarded by high iron
railings. She will run regularly between this port and Bordeaux, taking
out general cargoes and bringing back wine and immigrants. The pioneer
ship of the same line, the Chí¢teau Lafite, arrived here a few weeks ago.