How Big Was The Titanic? Fascinating Facts About The Iconic Ship

Deepthi Reddy
Mar 04, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Oct 23, 2021
Fact-checked by Shruti Thapa
3d illustration of Titanic ship in the sea

RMS Titanic was a British luxury passenger ship known for its enormous size and splendor.

The passenger ship operated by the British shipping company, White Star Line, had unmatchable facilities. She could accommodate around 2,453 passengers and over 900 crew members.

It shocked the world in disbelief when the massive ship sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on her maiden voyage. The ocean liner struck an iceberg from Southampton, England to New York City, United States, on April 15, 1912.

Among 3,547 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 people died on the Titanic in one of the deadliest ship sinkings.

Titanic was one of three Olympic class ocean liners launched by White Star Line. It is noteworthy that sister ships, RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic, both from White Star Line, met with the same fate, sinking in the oceans, despite the advanced safety features in the ships.

In 1912 the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, while the sister ship Britannic descended into the Aegean Sea in 1916.

Titanic was the largest ship when it entered service in 1912. The size was based on internal volume and measured by gross tonnage. But how huge was it? Curious to know about the massiveness and size of Titanic? Read on to learn fascinating facts about one of the most gigantic ocean liners in the world.

If these informative Titanic facts interest you, you would surely like our fun facts articles on, how many legs do butterflies have? And how long for duck eggs to hatch? Check these out as well!


What was the size of the Titanic?

The tragic story of Titanic is well known to many. However, most of us are not aware of how big the ship was. Based on internal volume, the Titanic was the largest ship when it sailed on its maiden voyage in 1912. RMS Titanic was 882 ft 9 in (269.06 m) long.

Her maximum breadth was 92 ft 6 in (28.19 m). When measured from the keel's base to the bridge's top, her total height was 104 ft (32 m). Her carrying capacity or gross tonnage was 46,328 GRT. The luxury ship displaced 52,310 tons, which refers to the mass of the vessel. Such massive numbers were incomparable in those days.

Titanic was designed to accommodate about 2,453 passengers, including 833 passengers in the first class, 614 in the second class, and 1,006 passengers in the third class. Including around 900 crew members, the overall carrying capacity of the Titanic was approximately 3,547 passengers.

The amenities and facilities provided to the passengers in the Titanic were of the highest standards. The first-class passengers had the most novel features: a squash court, a gymnasium, and a Turkish bath, among many.

The Turkish bath had a steam room, a cool room, an electric bath, a massage room, and a hot room. The 7 ft (2.1 m) deep swimming pool needs a special mention. The saltwater pool was the first of its kind on ships those days.

Women and men were allowed to use the pool separately, and it was chargeable. Such was the grandeur and luxury of Titanic.

Furthermore, it had a palace-style lounge, reading and writing rooms, a reception, among other lavishly decorated rooms. Charles Fitzroy Doll's thoughtfully designed the dining saloon, which was the largest room of Titanic, enough to accommodate 600 people at a time. The estimated cost of building the Titanic in 1912 was around 7.5 million. 

How big was the iceberg that hit the Titanic?

Titanic, considered unsinkable, struck an iceberg at around 23:40 (ship's time) on April 14, 1912. She was on the fourth day of her inaugural journey in the ocean when the disaster took place.

In about 02:40:00 after the strike, at 02:20 (ship's time) on April 15, 1912, the vessel descended into the ocean, causing over 1,500 people to lose their lives.

According to scientists, the massive iceberg that caused the Titanic's disaster might have originated about 100,000 years ago in southwest Greenland. The exact weight and size of the drifting ice mass are not known.

However, it was estimated to be over 100 ft (30 m) above sea level and about 400 ft (121 m) in length.

The massive ice chunk might have weighed over 1.5 m tons, posing a severe threat to ships that pass by.

What is surprising, is that this huge mass of ice had been melting in the ocean for several months before the disaster. Professor Grant Bigg of Sheffield University, UK, estimates the Titanic iceberg to have been around 1,700 ft (518 m) long and 75 m tons in weight.

It is appalling that despite the radio operators in Titanic receiving six warnings about drifting ice, the ship's speed was not reduced. Titanic continued to travel at a speed of 22 knots or 25 mph (41 km/h). Her lookouts spotted the iceberg but couldn't reduce the speed or turn the ship enough to avoid a collision.

Titanic had advanced features which maintained high standards in terms of safety. The Olympic class ship had interiors with 16 primary compartments with 15 vertical walls within its hull.

There were 11 watertight doors that closed vertically, which would seal the compartments off at times of emergency. The ice mass caused considerable damage to six of her watertight primary compartments, exposing them to the sea.

Closely after the collision, realizing that the Titanic would sink, the captain of Titanic, Captain Smith, ordered the ship's lifeboats to be uncovered.

Like any other large vessel, the Titanic had life rafts for emergency evacuation in case of any calamity. A total of 20 lifeboats were carried by vessel, including 14 wooden lifeboats with a capacity of 65 each, four collapsible lifeboats, enough to carry 47 people each, and two emergency cutters with a capacity of up to 40 people each.

Titanic's 16 sets of crane-like devices called davits supported and lowered up to four lifeboats each.

These numbers may sound adequate, however, for a ship of such enormity and magnificence, these are not that great. Collectively, the boats on the Titanic were just enough to evacuate 1,178 people. Thanks to the Board of Trade's regulations at that time, which allowed the British vessels over a gross tonnage of 10,000 to carry only 16 lifeboats.

Though Titanic could carry up to 64 wooden lifeboats, which was sufficient to evacuate about 4,000 people, it only carried 14 wooden boats and six more boats of varying models. What is more unfortunate is that these fewer boats also carried only half the number of people than what it could.

The team members on the Titanic were hardly trained or prepared to handle an emergency. It's notable that there were considerable changes and amended safety regulations made in maritime laws post the Titanic disaster.

The Titanic ship accident would have easily been averted had there been enough precaution and foresight from the Board of Trade and the White Star Line.

Titanic would have had a safe sail if the radio operators had considered the warnings seriously and acted on time. However, the Titanic sink was destined.

The sinking of the ship that was touted as the safest and unsinkable is behind the lessons learned in terms of safety standards; Titanic's disaster has been an eye-opener that has reminded people in the marine industry of the safety standards and norms.

How big was the Titanic compared to a modern cruise ship?

Titanic Rendering. Titanic in the sea

RMS Titanic finds a place among the world's largest passenger ships based on their internal volume measured in gross tonnage. At the time of its launch in 1912, the Titanic was the largest and most complex vessel, which it was also considered the grandest and most magnificent.

Have you wondered where the Titanic stands in comparison to the modern cruise ships?

Well, if you think the Titanic still holds its position, you would be surprised at the facts! Titanic versus the cruise ships of today, the comparison is quite interesting.

Compared to modern cruise ships, the Titanic is much smaller in size and capacity. Among the fleet of Royal Caribbean International ships, the Oasis-class ships were the largest ever.

These modern cruise ships cost a whopping 1.4 billion US dollars each. All four cruise ships in the fleet of Oasis-class, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas, have a gross tonnage of more than 225,000 and can occupy more than 6,000 people approximately.

Symphony of the Seas, one of the ships in the Oasis class from Royal Caribbean International, is the largest amongst modern cruise ships in service. With a gross tonnage of over 228,081, the cruise ship has almost five times the gross tonnage of Titanic with 46,328 GRT.

Titanic could accommodate around 3,457 people. Symphony of the Seas can occupy 6,680 people, which is almost double compared to Titanic.

The average length of the fleet of modern cruise ships is more than 1,000 ft (304 m). To name a few, a ship from Royal Caribbean International, Harmony of the Seas is 1,188 ft (362 m) in length, and the length of Allure of the Seas is 1,180 ft (359 m).

Compared to the lengths of these large cruise ships, the Titanic's length is only 882 ft (268 m).

How big was the Titanic compared to a football field?

Titanic might not be larger than the modern cruise ships, but the magnificence of the ship cannot be ignored. The size of the Titanic can be well understood when compared to familiar objects and places.

Titanic was about 2.6 times longer than that of a football field, and the width of the Titanic can be compared to the length of one football field. Interestingly, the length of the Titanic was equivalent to the length of about 22 buses and 59 cars.

The modern cruise ships are much larger in size and grandeur compared to the Titanic. However, being the largest ship at the time of her launch, the Titanic symbolized grandeur and advancement in the shipbuilding industry.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how big was the Titanic? Then why not take a look at how many legs does a centipede have? Or how cold was the water when the Titanic sank?

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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Fact-checked by Shruti Thapa

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Shruti Thapa picture

Shruti ThapaBachelor of Arts specializing in English

With a passion for American, British, and children's literature, Shruti is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at Garden City University, Bengaluru. Her fluency in Nepali, Hindi, and Mandarin demonstrates her linguistic abilities and global perspective. In addition to her literary pursuits, she has a keen interest in non-fiction literature, aesthetics, early childhood education, and Egyptian history. Shruti's research paper 'Bringing Art Illustrations In Education And Pop Culture' showcases her proficiency in these areas and her dedication to academic excellence.

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