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17 historical photos that show how the wealthy once traveled on ships just like the Titanic
Business Insider4/13/2018 4:01:00 PM

  • The Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912 — killing over 1,500 people and becoming one of the most famous maritime disasters in history.
  • But the Titanic was just one of countless passenger liners that dotted the seas and dominated the travel industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • These ships carried immigrants, cargo, and, oftentimes, very wealthy travelers.


The period of time spanning between the beginning of the 20th century and the start of WWII can be called the "golden age of ocean liners." Driven on by immigration to the US and an increased enthusiasm for recreational nautical travel, companies like the White Star Line began building bigger, faster, and fancier ships to accommodate passengers.

The most famous of these ships is the RMS Titanic, which famously struck an iceberg and sank during its maiden voyage in 1912. However, there were countless other liners during this time, plugging back and forth across the oceans and transporting immigrants, cargo, and travelers.

The age of ocean liners was disrupted by the worldwide Great Depression in the 1930s, only to sputter out entirely during the Second World War, which saw many of the ships converted to suit more wartime purposes.

Business Insider plumbed the depths of Flickr to find photos of what life was like for the wealthiest passengers on these ships. Here are 17 photos that highlight the often-extravagant experience:

The RMS Celtic launches on April 4, 1901 on a maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York.

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland/Flickr

A passenger reclines on a deckchair on an unknown passenger ship. He is enjoying a pipe and a bottle of Scotch whiskey labeled "W. Lumsden & Co, Aberdeen."The voyage likely took place around 1900.

Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons/Flickr

Passengers pose on the deck of a ship around 1900. The woman seated second to the left is wearing a sailor's hat with the symbol of the Aberdeen White Star Line.

Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons/Flickr


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SEE ALSO: These Original Ads For The Titanic Ran Right Before The Ship's Voyage To The Bottom Of The Ocean

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