Titanic II May Sail After All

titanic two

titanic two

Some have said it’ll never happen. Titanic II, a modern-day replica of the original Titanic, was supposed to have set sail in 2016. But due to financial difficulties and other setbacks, her launch was delayed until this year. Now, Australia’s millionaire Clive Palmer claims the ship will, in fact, launch in 2022 and be the flagship for the new Blue Star Line cruise company.

The ocean liner will feature the same design and layout as RMS Titanic but be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and safety equipment.

“The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivalled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits,” states Palmer.

Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer


Titanic II’s two-week maiden voyage will begin in Dubai, then sail on to Southampton. The ship will have the exact number of cabins, passengers, and crew as Titanic did in April 1912. Ticket costs have yet to be determined.

The cost to build the ship is expected to be around $500 million. Construction is said to have begun in Nanjing, China, and a main office for Blue Star Line is planned for Paris. A stationary Titanic replica is currently under construction by another firm in China, and is set to open in 2019.

Would you like to sail on Titanic II? Personally, I would love to be in New York Harbor to welcome her, 110 years after her namesake was scheduled to arrive.

Photo credits: Wikipedia.org

References: foxnews.com, komonews.com, bigthink.com

A Titanic Timeline Part II

Last time, we began with a glimpse into Titanic’s maiden voyage, beginning with the preparations in Southampton on April 5, 1912. On Sailing Day, April 10th, Titanic departed Southampton on what would be her only voyage, carrying 2,208 passengers and crew.

leaving southampton

leaving southampton

Titanic departing Southampton April 10, 1912

The Titanic headed across the English Channel for Cherbourg, France, where 24 passengers disembarked and 274 passengers came aboard via tenders. Just after 8:00 pm, the ship was again under way. The first dinner on board had been served in all classes, and passengers spent the evening acquainting themselves with the ship, preparing their children for bed, or strolling the pristine outside decks to gaze at the brilliant canopy of stars.

April 11. At 11:30 am, Titanic dropped anchor two miles offshore at Queenstown, Ireland. Tenders transported 120 passengers and 1,385 sacks of mail to the ship. Two hours later, the Titanic headed out to sea. For most of those on board, they would not see land again.

last_titanic_photo leaving Queenstown

last_titanic_photo leaving Queenstown

Last photo of the ship as it left Queenstown

April 12. Passengers spent the next three days enjoying the ship’s many amenities. Even third class passengers marveled at the bright and spacious public rooms and delicious food. There were few scheduled activities, other than dining hours.

April 13. First class passengers looked forward to the noon posting each day in the smoking room of the previous day’s run. From Thursday, April 11 to Friday, April 12, the ship traveled 386 nautical miles. From Friday April 12 to Saturday April 13, 519 miles, and from Saturday April 13 to Sunday April 14, 546 miles were logged.

titanicsmoking room

titanicsmoking room

April 14. On Sunday, a church service was held in the first class dining saloon. The temperature dropped, and Titanic received several ice warnings over the wireless from other ships in the area. Around 6:00 pm, Captain Smith gave orders for her course to be altered slightly due to the warnings. At 10:00 pm, lookouts Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee took their post in the crow’s nest. At 11:30 pm, Fleet sighted an iceberg and warned the officers on the bridge. Quartermaster Robert Hichens responded immediately to the order to turn the ship ‘Hard-a-starboard.’ The ship turned, but not enough. Less than a minute passed from the moment Fleet sighted the iceberg to collision.

crows nest

crows nest

Crow's nest half-way up mast on left. The bridge, with several windows, is behind it on top deck

April 15. With approximately 1500 passengers and crew still on board, the RMS Titanic sank in the north Atlantic at 2:20 am. Hundreds fell to their deaths, drowned, or died of hypothermia in the frigid waters. All twenty lifeboats, many carrying fewer than their capacity, drifted in a calm, frigid sea until dawn. The RMS Carpathia, having received Titanic’s distress calls, raced through the ice field to rescue the surviving 712 men, women, and children. Carpathia passengers and crew did their best to accommodate and comfort those from the Titanic. Captain Arthur Rostron set a course for New York.



Titanic lifeboat alongside Carpathia

Photo credits: Encyclopedia-titanica.org, irishecho.com, maritimequest.com

A Titanic Timeline

On this day in 1912, 2208 passengers and crew had five days until their departure from Southampton on the RMS Titanic. They came from 27 different nations and all walks of life. Many of the passengers were returning to the United States following their honeymoons, vacations, or business travels. Most had never been to America, but dreamed of a new life there. For them, these last five days would be filled with preparations, good-byes, tears, and anticipation. No one had any idea of the tragedy that would soon befall them.



April 5, Good Friday. The Titanic had passed her sea trials in Belfast and departed for Southampton, arriving in port on April 3rd. A long coal strike led several shipping companies to cancel their voyages. White Star Line sent coal from their other ships in port to Titanic, and the ship was ‘dressed’ in colorful flags and pennants as a salute to the city of Southampton.



Titanic officers, with their white-bearded Captain Edward Smith

April 6. The coal strike settled and hiring began in earnest for most of Titanic’s crew. The seaman of Southampton, eager to get back to work, jammed the White Star Line hiring hall. Senior officers received assignments. Dishes, cutlery, and glassware began to arrive. Once on board, everything had to be counted and listed on the inventory before it was stored. General cargo started to arrive—crates and cartons of all manner of goods being shipped to North America.



A crane aboard Titanic used to lift cargo to the ship

April 7, Easter Sunday. All work was halted for the day, and the waterfront was deserted. Only the ship’s bell was heard, marking the hours.

April 8. Work resumed, and with only three days left until departure, many final tasks had yet to be completed. Trains brought fresh supplies to the docks, including all the food and beverages required to feed everyone on board for the week-long voyage to New York. Any last-minute problems were addressed, and every detail checked.

April 9. Thomas Andrews, Titanic’s chief architect, worked tirelessly on board, checking that all was in proper working order and noting changes he or the owner, J. Bruce Ismay, wished to make for future voyages. He wrote to his wife that evening, “The Titanic is now complete, and will I think do the old Firm credit tomorrow when we sail.”



Thomas Andrews

April 10. Sailing Day. Captain Smith boarded around 7:30 a.m. Crew members came up the gangways and mustered together on various decks for orders. Passengers began to arrive around 9:30 a.m. Just before noon, Captain Smith gave the order for the whistles to be blown, announcing Titanic’s imminent departure.

Leaving Southampton

Leaving Southampton

The RMS Titanic leaving Southampton

Next time, we’ll look at the following five days for Titanic. They were to be her last.

Photo credits: Encyclopediatitanica.com, Oocities.org, Spitfiresite.com

Thank you for reading! I so appreciate your following this blog, as well as your “likes” and comments. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions ❤

A brave young immigrant

When Anna Sophia Turja of Finland boarded the Titanic in Southampton on April 10, 1912, she looked forward to starting a new life in America at the home of her sister and brother-in-law. The couple had paid for Anna’s third class passage, and she planned to work in her brother-in-law’s store in Ashtabula, Ohio.



Anna Sophia Turja

Anna, 18,  shared a cabin with two women from Finland and one of the women’s two young children. She was fascinated with the size of Titanic and all it had to offer, even for third class passengers. On the night of April 14, Anna was awakened by what she described as a shudder. Unconcerned, she remained in bed until a brother of one of the women came to their door, telling them to get dressed and get up on deck, “unless you want to find yourselves at the bottom of the ocean.”



Third class stairway on Titanic

Not believing they were in any real danger, the women took their time dressing. They made their way through the maze of corridors and stairways, until a crewmember ordered them to stop. When they refused, he let them pass, but locked the doors behind them. None of the group spoke English. Anna stated, “We were not told what happened, but had to do our own thinking.”

On the Boat Deck, Anna and her friends listened to the ship’s orchestra until after midnight. The crew worked quietly to get women and children to the lifeboats, but Anna was certain the Titanic wouldn’t sink and they would be safe. She wandered to a lower deck, where a crewman grabbed her and put her into a lifeboat, possibly Lifeboat 15. She did not see her friends again.



Two Titanic lifeboats as seen from Carpathia

After watching the Titanic sink, Anna later recalled the worst part of the entire night. "The voices, the screams and the cries for help of those left on the deck as the ship went under…”

On board the Carpathia following rescue, Anna remembered the kindnesses shown to the Titanic survivors by the Carpathia’s passengers. "The people were so wonderful," she said. “For me it was a welcome to America, even under the circumstances."



Survivors aboard the Carpathia

After their arrival in New York, rather than being processed through Ellis Island, Anna and the other immigrants who survived the Titanic were sent to local hospitals. The Red Cross and other organizations provided clothing and immediate needs, and White Star Line paid her hospital bill. Anna was sent on to her destination, Ashtabula, Ohio, by train.



Anna Turja

A few weeks later at her sister’s home, Anna learned that somehow her name hadn’t been on any of the survivor lists in the Finnish papers. Her family there had thought she had died, until she could write to them.

Anna soon met her brother-in-law’s brother, Emil Lundi. They were later married and had seven children and 18 grandchildren. She never did go to work for her brother-in-law, and never learned to speak English. Her son, Martin Lundi, who later became a Lutheran minister, acted as interpreter during interviews. In 1953, he and his mother were invited to attend a showing of a new Titanic movie, starring Barbara Stanwyk. It was the first movie she had ever seen. Afterwards, Anna turned to her son in tears and asked, “If they were so close to take those pictures, why didn't someone help us?” It took some time to convince his mother the movie was not real.



Anna Turja Lundi

Anna outlived Emil by 30 years. She died in California in 1982 at the age of 89. She is buried in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Photo credits: Art.com, encyclopediatitanica.com, Titanicuniverse.com

The Queen of the Seas: Then and Now

Even before her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, the RMS Titanic was sometimes called the Queen of the Seas. She was the largest and most elegant ocean liner in the world, and would surpass all other ocean-going passenger ships in size, speed, and luxury. Tragically, she collided with an iceberg on her debut voyage and sank, killing over 1500 passengers and crewmembers. Today, a new Queen makes regular transatlantic crossings. The RMS Queen Mary 2, built in 2003, is the only ocean liner in service between Southampton and New York, and has claimed the title of the largest ocean liner ever built, once held by Titanic.  At 1,132 feet long, the Queen Mary 2 surpasses Titanic's length of 882.5 feet by 249.5 feet.


Cunard's Queen Mary 2

Designed to be an ocean liner, the QM2 was built using 40% more steel than most of today’s cruise ships. Her top speed is 30 knots, with a cruising speed of 26 knots. In comparison, Titanic’s maximum speed was between 24 and 25 knots.

Instead of running on coal-powered steam as Titanic did, the Queen Mary 2 has a propulsion system including 4 diesel engines and 2 gas turbines.

What are some other comparisons between the Queen Mary 2 and the Titanic?

Passengers and Crew

Titanic was capable of carrying 3,547 passengers and crew. On her maiden voyage, approximately 2,208 were aboard, including 885 crew members.

The Queen Mary 2 has a passenger capacity of 2,695 and carries 1,253 crew members.


Titanic had 9 decks. The QM2 has 14 passenger decks with 18 total decks.


Passengers stroll near lifeboats aboard Titanic


A view of some of QM2's decks as the ship navigates New York Harbor


The Titanic had three large dining rooms, one for each class. The Parisian Café and Veranda Café were also available to first class passengers.


Titanic's first class dining saloon

The Queen Mary 2 has 15 restaurants and bars for the use of all passengers.


The Britannia Restaurant aboard Queen Mary 2


Most of Titanic’s passenger facilities (swimming pool, Turkish baths, gymnasium, squash court) were for first class passengers only. First and second class each had their own library, and smoking rooms for men only. Reading and writing rooms were available for the ladies. Third class passengers could use the General Room for conversation, games, and music.

The QM2 boasts an unprecedented number of activities for its passengers, including dancing in the largest ballroom at sea, 5 swimming pools, sports and fitness activities, a planetarium, children’s program, singers, dancers, and comedians, and a full-service spa.


Titanic carried 20 lifeboats, with a total capacity of 1,178. Following the disaster, new maritime laws required all sea-going vessels to have enough lifeboats for every passenger and crew, plus one-third.


Lifeboats aboard Titanic

The Queen Mary 2 life-saving equipment consists of two fast 6-person rescue boats (up to 25 knots), 14 150-person semi-enclosed lifeboats (6 knots), and eight 150-person combination tender/lifeboats. In addition, the ship has life rafts with a capacity of 37 persons each.


Lifeboats on Queen Mary 2


The cost of a third class ticket on Titanic, in today’s prices, would run from $298 - $793.

Queen Mary 2 offers several different prices for a one-way voyage from New York to Southampton, depending on the type of room. A standard inside cabin starts at $1,099 per person.


Photo credits: Cunard.com, Encyclopediatitanica.com

Just Missed the Titanic - Part III

We’ve been taking a break this summer from the stories of those who were on board the Titanic to see who literally missed the boat.

At the age of 20, Guglielmo Marconi became intrigued with the discovery of “invisible waves” from electromagnetic interactions. The son of a wealthy Italian landowner, Marconi began building his own equipment and was soon transmitting signals miles away. In 1896, he and his mother traveled to London where he found others willing to invest in his work. Before long, he applied for his first patents and set up a wireless station on the Isle of Wight. By 1899, signals from Marconi’s station had crossed the English Channel.



Guglielmo Marconi

He wanted to improve his wireless system in order to broadcast across the Atlantic. Experts argued that radio waves would only travel in straight lines and the curvature of the earth would not allow transmitting at so great a distance. But Marconi persevered. He set up a wireless station in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with the hope of receiving a signal sent from England. When that failed, he tried a shorter distance—Cornwall to Newfoundland. In 1901, after several attempts, a faint signal was picked up—3 dots, the letter “s” in Morse Code.

In 1909, Marconi received the Nobel Prize in Physics, which he shared with physicist Karl Braun, the inventor of the cathode-ray tube. In his acceptance speech, Marconi claimed he was “more a tinkerer than a scientist” and wasn’t sure how his invention worked.

Marconi continued to make improvements to his wireless radio system. Shipping companies soon recognized its usefulness for communication and navigation. “Marconi Men,” trained in the operation of the equipment, became a vital part of every large ocean-going vessel. On Titanic, Harold Bride and Jack Phillips, with previous experience at Marconi stations and on ships, prepared for her maiden voyage.



Replica of Titanic's Marconi Room

White Star Line officials invited Marconi to sail on Titanic to New York. He declined, and took the Lusitania three days before Titanic left Southampton. Years later, his daughter claimed he’d had paperwork to do and preferred the stenographer aboard that ship.

During the sinking of the Titanic, Bride and Phillips worked valiantly to send emergency messages to ships in the area. Several responded, but it was the RMS Carpathia who eventually arrived at the scene and saved over 700 lives. Without the Marconi system in place, many more lives, if not all, would certainly have been lost. Although there were reports of Carpathia wireless operators being instructed to withhold information from the press until the ship arrived in New York, Marconi was soon hailed as one of the heroes of the disaster because of his invention.

Marconi message sent from Olympic

Marconi message sent from Olympic

Marconi message sent from RMS Olympic to Titanic

In April 1915, Marconi was aboard the Lusitania once again. A month later, she was sunk by a German U-boat. He continued to make improvements to his inventions, and died in 1937 in Rome. Radio stations in America, England, and Italy observed several minutes of silence in his honor.

Photo credits: History.com, Library of Congress, Titanicpigeonforge.com

Titanic's hardworking steward

When John Hardy signed on as Titanic’s Chief Second Class Steward, he brought with him fourteen years’ experience at sea. In my yet-to-be-published novel, Ruth Becker meets Hardy just after Titanic has departed Southampton, and is thrilled to learn he has a pram for her to push her little brother on deck.

john hardy

John Hardy

Hardy had worked for the White Star Line for twelve years, serving aboard four ships. In between his duties, he’d married his landlady’s daughter, Etta, in Liverpool, and had two children, Ronald in 1903 and Norah in 1905. The family moved to Southampton, and were living there at the time of Titanic’s sailing in 1912.

John, 36, was already on board as Titanic made her way from the Harland and Wollf shipyards in Belfast on April 2nd, arriving in Southampton on April 4th. The next day, Good Friday, the ship was decorated with colorful flags and pennants as a salute to Southampton. But before she could begin her maiden voyage on April 10th, most of the crew would be hired, thousands of tons of coal would be loaded, and supplies for the voyage would be brought aboard, including enough food for a small city. Also, any cargo, including crates of goods purchased abroad by American customers, was loaded into the cargo hold.

John Hardy was responsible for overseeing 162 second class cabins. On the night of the sinking, he turned off all unnecessary lights in the second class areas, went to bed around 11:30 pm, then felt a slight shock. Checking the passageway, he found nothing amiss and returned to bed. Then the Chief First Class Steward woke him with the news of what happened. John proceeded to rouse the stewardesses and assist passengers to the lifeboats. He worked on deck until the last lifeboat was launched, followed by the collapsible boats. He managed to board the last one, carrying 25 passengers, just 15 minutes before the ship sank. Later, they tied the boat up together with six other boats and took on ten more passengers.

collapsible lifeboat folded away

Example of a collapsible lifeboat with its sides folded away


Titanic crewmembers following rescue

John Hardy continued to work for the White Star Line, then aboard hospital ships and troop transports during the First World War. Twins were born to John and Etta in 1919, and the family moved to New Jersey, where John continued for twenty years as Chief Steward for various ships in the United States Line.

John Hardy died at his son’s home at the age of 82.

hardy tombstone

Photo credits: Encyclopedia Titanica and New York Times

The Heroine of Lifeboat 12

Nineteen-year-old Lillian Bentham of New York had spent a year touring Europe with her godfather, other relatives, and friends. For the return trip to the US, the group boarded Titanic at Southampton. Lillian occupied a second-class cabin with Emily Rugg, age 22, from Guernsey, England. Emily was on her way to live in Wilmington, Delaware, where a relative owned a store. Emily was awakened by the collision and woke Lillian. The women made their way to the upper decks and were put into Lifeboat 12, along with 40 other women and children. When no other women or children were immediately available, a crowd of men from second and third class tried to board. The officers in charge refused to let the men on. As it was being lowered, a man leapt aboard as it passed B Deck. Later, No. 12 picked up passengers from the overturned collapsible boat B.


Lillian Bentham in the 1950s

Lillian gave several interviews in her later years about her experience in the lifeboat. “The greatest horror of the experience was the eight hours we spent floating about until we were picked up by the Carpathia…At first, the sea was smooth as glass but it was literally dotted with human forms swimming, clinging to wreckage, fighting to climb into the lifeboats…I began to realize that I had lost nothing compared to others, who had been compelled to see their relatives and friends go down with the Titanic.”

Toward morning, No. 12 came upon collapsible B, slowly sinking with 20 men aboard. Lillian said, “I helped the seaman pull those 20 men into our boat…We had to pile them in like so many sacks of flour, because they were unable to do anything to help themselves…I took off my coat and gave it to one man. I had two coats and could spare one.”

Seven of the men they pulled aboard died of exposure. The man who received Lillian’s coat was Cecil Fitzpatrick, an Irish crewman from the Titanic. In gratitude, he later gave Lillian the whistle he’d blown all night in the hope of calling another boat to help.

Lillian described the moment when, at last, she spotted the Carpathia. “Far off in the distance, we saw smoke, thin and indistinct at first, but gradually coming nearer…To me, and I guess to all of the others in that boat, that was the most wonderful ship in the world.”

bentham card

Lillian's Custom Card given to her aboard the Carpathia

None of the men in Lillian’s traveling party survived, including her godfather. His widow met Lillian in New York City and helped her get to her parents’ home in Rochester, New York. She lived with them until she married, five years later. The couple remained in Rochester and did not have children. Lillian died in 1977 at age 85.


Lillian's headstone bears her Titanic story and the names of her traveling companions.

A City in Sorrow

One million Great Britain coal miners went on a national strike in February of 1912 with the main goal of an increase in their minimum wage. In the city of Southampton, the strike left 17,000 men without work. Soon, many of them needed help from charities and survived by pawning clothes and furniture to buy food.

striking miners in GB

Miners during Great Britain coal strike of 1912

The strike ended on April 6th with the institution of the Minimum Wage Act, but train and ship schedules were still feeling the effects. Return to steady work was not yet in sight for the miners, and the RMS Titanic was about to make her maiden voyage to New York from Southampton. In order to have enough coal for Titanic’s massive steam engines, the White Star Line ordered its smaller ships to remain in port and their coal delivered to the Titanic. Their New York-bound passengers would be transferred to the Titanic as well.

Southampton had only recently become England’s main port, taking over that position from Liverpool. Now, with so many men out of work in the city, White Star Line advertised job openings for crew members on its new steamer. A fireman, or stoker, could earn 6 pounds a month, and a steward, over 3 pounds. Hundreds applied and were hired.


RMS Titanic leaving Southampton

Of the 1,517 people who died in the sinking, 685 were crew members. Over three quarters, 538 of them, were from Southampton. On one street alone, nearly every house lost someone: a husband, a father, a son, a brother. Some women lost their husbands and sons as well. Those alive at the time reported a great hush descending on the city. An entire generation had been lost.

Most families were left in complete financial ruin. The Titanic Relief Fund raised the equivalent of around $20 million in today’s money for the families of all those who died. For the widows of non-salaried crew members in Southampton, the payments were small. The Salvation Army helped by supplying basics, like milk, soup, and bread. No compensation came from the White Star Line.


Memorial to Southampton's Titanic Crew Members

Today in Southampton, descendants still remember their loved ones who perished on the Titanic, and those who were left behind to carry on during such difficult times. On April 10, 2012, exactly 100 years to the day Titanic departed Southampton , the SeaCity Museum opened, featuring the city’s Titanic story. For more information, please visit http://www.seacitymuseum.co.uk/

Titanic's Crew

The list of the RMS Titanic crew named 869 men and 23 women as crewmembers, in addition to her officers. Most of the crew boarded in Southampton, England, just after sunrise on the day of her maiden voyage, April 10, 1912. All of the officers, except for Captain Edward Smith, had already spent the night on board. They would be in charge of all the day-to-day navigation duties. Captain Smith said goodbye-to his wife and daughter at his home in Southampton and boarded the ship around 7:30 am.


Titanic officers. Captain Smith is seated, 2nd from right

The crew included seamen, who assisted the officers; firemen (or "stokers"), who shoveled the coal into boilers; engineers, who helped run the engines and machinery; saloon stewards, bedroom stewards, and chefs. The women included 18 stewardesses, two cashiers, a masseuse, a Turkish Bath attendant, and a woman who chaperoned the single women in third class.


Titanic crew members wearing lifevests

Several teenage boys, a few as young as 14 and 15, were employed as crewmembers. They worked as bellboys (also called “buttons”) and carried luggage, as pageboys, running errands and delivering telegrams, or as “liftboys” operating the elevators.

Only 214 crew members survived the sinking of the Titanic, 194 men and 20 women. None of the bellboys, pageboys, or liftboys survived. Most of the crew came from Southampton. On one street alone, 20 families lost loved ones in the disaster. Their families could not claim any compensation from the Titanic’s White Star Line. However, over $2 million was raised by the British Titanic Relief Fund and other British charities to help the families of those hardest hit. In the United States, $261,000 was raised.

Do you have a question about the crew, or something else related to the Titanic? Leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer it next week. Thanks!