The Titanic: From dinner courses to iceberg warnings, 10 fascinating facts about the ‘unsinkable’ ship


It has been 111 years since the sinking of the once thought “unsinkable” Titanic.

Take a deep dive into some historical, numerical facts you might not know about the “Wonder Ship” that set sail on April 14, 1912.


1. What were the dimensions of the Titanic?

The RMS Titanic had an overall length of 882.75 feet. The breadth of the massive ship was 92.5 feet, and the depth of the construction was 59.6 feet. Overall, the gross tonnage of the Titanic weighed in at 46,329, according to the Royal Museums of Greenwich. 

2. How many years did it take to construct the “Unsinkable Ship?”

The Titanic took three years to build. The ship was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. The construction began in 1909 and was completed in 1911. The White Star Line’s Titanic cost $7.5 million to build, or $200 million with inflation.

3. How many dinner courses were served to first-class passengers the night Titanic sank?

Those in first-class were treated to a 10-course meal. The wealthier passengers started their feast with raw oysters and hors d’oeuvres, “followed by a choice of consommé Olga (a veal stock soup flavored with sturgeon marrow) or cream of barley soup,” shared. 

The next course included a poached Atlantic salmon with a mousseline sauce on top. Passengers had the option of either filet mignon Lili, chicken Lyonnaise, lamb, roast duckling or beef sirloin, for the fourth and fifth courses. They were served a palate cleanser midway through the meal and finished with indulgent desserts as well as an assortment of cheese and fruits.

4. When did the Titanic sink, and how long did it take?

The “unsinkable” RMS Titanic reportedly took two hours and 40 minutes to sink. The ship’s chief telegraphist, John George Phillips, and Captain Edward John Smith sent out distress signals – one reaching a British passenger liner, the Carpathia – but the liner was 58 nautical miles and over three hours away from the sinking ship, Britannica researched.


5. How much did it cost to purchase a ticket to board the ship?

The most expensive ticket to board the Titanic cost $2,560 in 1912. Today, that cost is equivalent to $79,396.95, an increase in $76,836.96 in 111 years. This purchase included a three-room suite, including two bedrooms and a sitting room as well as a wardrobe room and bath, according to

6. How many people survived the Titanic?

There were over 2,200 people aboard the Titanic when it embarked on its journey. Approximately 1,300 of those individuals were passengers. Of the 2,200 plus aboard, only 705 people survived the disastrous iceberg collision, according to

Only 705 people, out of 2,200 plus on  board, survived the sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912.

7. How many lifeboats were on the Titanic in case of an emergency?

The Titanic was equipped to carry 64 lifeboats, but only 20, four collapsible, lifeboats were on board on April 14. Those 20 boats could only hold 1,178 passengers, cited. 

Bruce Alpine, author of “TITANIC: The Legend, myths and folklore,” wrote, “In 1912, the tradition for loading lifeboats during an emergency was ‘Women and children first.’ . . . This tradition often caused time delays in filling the lifeboats as the women and children were singled out for priority in lifeboat placement, which often led to lifeboats being launched half full. This was certainly the case with Titanic.”


8. How many iceberg warnings were sent to the Titanic?

On April 14, the day the Titanic sunk, the ship’s captain received seven iceberg warnings. One of the transmitted messages was from the SS Amerika to the Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C., reporting ice along the ship’s route, according to “Had she but heeded the one warning that she transmitted she would probably have saved herself,” the Hydrographic Office wrote.

The RMS Titanic had received seven warnings of icebergs on its route, before it was eventually brought down by one.

9. How many years passed before the wreckage of the Titanic was discovered?

It took 73 years to discover the Titanic wreckage. The North Atlantic’s unpredictable weather, the depth of the sunken ship and the inconsistent accounts of the ship’s sinking location led to unsuccessful expeditions, National Geographic reported.

On September 1, 1985, French scientist Jean-Louis Michel and National Geographic explorer Robert Ballard discovered the great ship 380 miles southeast of Newfoundland. 

10. What was the box office gross for James Cameron’s 1997 film, “Titanic?”

The 1997 record-breaking film “Titanic,” based on the ship’s voyage and sinking, set a box office record, at the time, of $1.84 billion, according to Box Office Mogo, making it the first film to surpass the billion-dollar mark.

It held the record for highest-grossing film until Avatar, another James Cameron film, surpassed it in 2010. “Titanic” was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, winning 11, including Best Picture and Best Original Song, “My Heart Will Go On,” sung by Celine Dion.

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