Titanic’s Maiden Voyage
A brief chronology of Titanic’s Maiden Voyage - from Sea Trials to Sinking and rescue of Survivors. (For visuals, see Pictures of Titanic)
It was Titanic’s maiden voyage. Sadly, it was her one and only voyage.
April 2 – Sea Trials. The Titanic put out for her Sea Trials from Belfast, where she had been built, at 6 in the morning. For 12 hours, she was put through her paces, and at the end of that time, she was certified as being seaworthy.
April 4 – Arrival at Southampton. It was at Southampton that Captain Edward John Smith took command as Master of the RMS Titanic, having been transferred from RMS Olympic, one of Titanic’s Sisters. (The third sister ship was yet to be launched.)
April 10 – Titanic’s maiden voyage begins. Third class passengers boarded, beginning at 9:30 am. First and Second class passengers followed. The musicians may have boarded earlier with the crew, or they may have boarded after the third class passengers, as Wallace Hartley and the Titanic Band were ticketed as second class passengers.
The RMS Titanic departed for Cherbourg promptly at noon, though before she even made it out of the harbor, a near collision with the SS City of New York did result in a delay of getting to open water.
Additional passengers embarked via tender at Cherbourg, while a few disembarked. By 8:00 pm, the ship again got underway, this time heading for Queenstown.
April 11 - Titanic made her scheduled stop at Queenstown, which is today called Cobh, where more passengers tendered to the ship, and another handful left.
Early on the afternoon of April 11, RMS Titanic headed out onto the open Atlantic from Queensland. The view of the Irish coast receding to the east would be the last sight of land ever for some 1500 of the souls aboard that day.
April 12 – 14 were spent at sea.
The Night of April 14 – An iceberg was spotted at 11:40 pm. Despite efforts were made to avoid it, the fatal collision of ship and ice occurred within moments. In the ensuing two hours about a third of those who had sailed on the Titanic’s miaden voyage boarded lifeboats.
April 15 - At about 2:20 am, the great ship slipped beneath the surface, taking over 1500 souls with her into water too cold for human survival.
Around 4:00 am, help arrived. It was the RMS Carpathia to the rescue, under the command of Captain Arthur Henry Rostron. (Although another ship was nearer, it did not respond to Titanic’s distress calls.) He had pushed his ship literally to its limits to get there in record time.
April 18 – The survivors of the Titanic arrived in New York on board the RMS Carpathia.