The Roles of Belfast, Southampton, Cherbourg, Queenstown and New York in the Titanic

May 21 07:37 2012 Andrew Marshall Print This Article

Recently the one-hundred year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic passed. Below are five towns and cities that played their part in the Titanic’s journey, from its construction to the rescue of the 710 survivors. 

Recently the one-hundred year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic passed. The world’s largest passenger cruise liner at the time,Guest Posting it had been claimed that the Titanic was unsinkable. This was quickly proven wrong; after setting off on its maiden voyage on 10 April 1912 it hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean less than five days later and 1,514 people lost their lives. Below are five towns and cities that played their part in the Titanic’s journey, from its construction to the rescue of the 710 survivors.




The story of the Titanic began in Belfast in Northern Ireland where it was built between 1909 and 1911 by a company called Haaland and Wolff Shipyard. White Star liners had commissioned the building of three Olympic class cruise liners; the Olympic, the Titanic and the Britannic. These were the three largest liners from White Star. Haaland and Wolff had more licence than most ship builders, playing a large part in turning the original White Star sketches into a final design.


Construction of the Titanic took place on Queens Island in Belfast Harbour, which had since been renamed the Titanic Quarter. Just to be able to build ships of this size three existing slipways had to be demolished and turned into two new slipways. The Olympic and Titanic ships were built alongside each other, the Olympic construction beginning in December 1908 with construction of the Titanic getting underway on 31 March 1909. Building the Titanic was a dangerous undertaking with safety precautions and equipment much different than they are today. A total of 246 people were injured during its construction and eight people died; six on the ship and two in the shipyard.


On 31 May 1911, exactly two years after construction began, the Titanic was launched from Belfast in front of 10,000 spectators. It was towed to a fitting-out berth where the engines, funnels and superstructure were installed and the interior was fitted. Trials took place on 2 April with the ship certified as seaworthy following these. That evening it finally left Belfast ready for its maiden voyage.




Southampton, on the south coast of England, was the location of the Titanic’s departure. In 1907 White Star began to use Southampton as a major port, mostly for transatlantic cruises. At the time Southampton Dock was not large enough to accommodate this need meaning a new dock had to be constructed solely for this purpose. This was sixteen acres in size and forty foot deep and was named the White Star Dock. There were three services a week between Southampton and New York and at this time travelling by ship was the only way of reaching the United States from Europe. The Titanic departed from Southampton with over 2,000 people on board on 10 April 1912 in front of a large crowd. When the ship sunk a few days later the loss of life was felt in Southampton more than anywhere else, as around eighty percent of the crew members were from the town.




Cherbourg in France was the first of two stops to pick up passengers. Compared with Southampton Cherbourg was a small port without the facilities required to service such a ship. At 6.30 on the evening of 10 April the ship anchored off the shore of Cherbourg and two small boats then serviced it and bought passengers on board. An hour and a half after its arrival it left Cherbourg and headed north towards Southern Ireland.




Queenstown on the South Coast of Southern Ireland was the last passenger pick-up of the Titanic. It anchored off Roches Pint in Cork Harbour the day after leaving Cherbourg. As in Cherbourg it was serviced by other boats due to the restrictions of the port. Eight people left the ship and 123 joined for the onward journey.


New York


New York Harbour was due to be the final destination of the Titanic but it never made it. Instead survivors reached New York via another ship, Carpathia. Carpathia responded to distress calls from the Titanic and arrived a few hours after the ship had sunk. The 710 survivors were taken on board and then reached New York, and 40,000 waiting spectators, three days later.


Andrew Marshall ©

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