Despite its tragic maiden voyage, the RMS Titanic is still viewed as a lasting symbol of unrivaled luxury and grandeur. Not only was the Titanic groundbreaking due to its immense size and sophisticated propulsion system, but the interior of its upper decks was also designed to appeal to the desires of society’s more affluent upper classes.
The Titanic interior featured lavish dining areas, luxurious lounges, and comfortable cabin quarters to make the ship the symbol of elegance on the water. That said, the Titanic was not completely designed for luxurious travel, as its lower decks featured basic quarters and even cargo holds.
Today, we will look at the Titanic’s famously luxurious interior. We will look at the amenities and features that set the Titanic apart from the other ocean liners of its time. We will also examine some of the less extravagant areas of the ship so you have a more rounded view of what this iconic ship had to offer.
If you are ready to examine the Titanic’s interior design, it’s time to dive in!
The Interior Design of the Titanic
When the Titanic was commissioned by its parent company White Star Line, the aim was to build an ocean liner that would be the world’s most comfortable and luxurious passenger ship.
It might surprise you to learn that the Titanic was just one part of a fleet of three ocean liners. White Star Line ordered the Titanic’s construction and the construction of her sister ships, the Olympic and the Britannic. These ships were dubbed Olympic-Class ocean liners and were designed to be the ultimate expression of luxury and efficient transatlantic travel.
To ensure that the Titanic and other ships in her class would be able to set the standard for luxury, designers spared no expense in designing and furnishing the interiors.
Not only did White Star Line want its largest ships to be associated with luxury, but the primary aim was also to attract Europe and North America’s wealthiest and most high-profile individuals.
Not only would appealing to these types of passengers add to the prestige of White Star Line by attracting prominent businessmen, celebrities, politicians, and even royalty, the belief was White Star Line would be able to charge vast sums for tickets in the first-class sections of the ships.
Highlights of the Titanic’s Interior
From the Titanic’s signature grand staircase to luxurious dining areas and lounges, the ship’s interior had all the hallmarks of a high-class hotel. To give you a better picture of the grandeur of the Titanic’s groundbreaking interior, here are just a few of the highlights.
The First-Class Cabin
One of the Titanic’s defining characteristics was the luxurious and comfortable cabins in its first-class section. While the first-class cabins were available in different sizes and levels of luxury, they were all designed to mimic the rooms in a high-end hotel suite.
The more expensive first-class cabins featured multiple bedrooms, private bathrooms, sitting areas, and lounge chairs. These rooms were also furnished and decorated with plush carpets and hand-carved wood.
These cabins also had numerous windows designed to give the occupants stunning views and natural light while they ventured across the Atlantic Ocean.
Even the smaller cabins in the first-class section of the ship featured expensive and luxurious furnishings. The beds were far more comfortable than would be standard on other ocean liners of the time.
Privacy was also prioritized, so walls separating cabins were much thicker and more soundproof than what would typically be found in the cabin quarters of a ship.
The First-Class Dining Room and Saloon
Given that it was designed to be the world’s most luxurious ocean liner, it is no surprise that the Titanic’s interior featured an incredibly opulent dining area. The ship’s notorious first-class dining saloon stretched the entire width of the vessel and was outfitted with lavish décor and furniture.
While it was not the ship’s only dining area, the first-class dining saloon alone could comfortably seat over 500 first-class passengers.
Even the ceiling of the dining saloon was utterly breathtaking, as it featured multiple crystal chandeliers, eye-catching light fixtures, and ornate wood and tin tiling. The walls and entrances were lined with bright white Romanesque columns and archways.
The tables were covered in high-thread white tablecloths, and the meals were served on fine china. Guests were also provided with crystal glassware and polished silverware. The ship also featured a high-end kitchen, which employed reputable chefs and cooks, so guests would be served gourmet meals that were never previously imaginable on an ocean-crossing ship.
Sophisticated Smoking Rooms, Bars, and Social Lounges
Beyond the primary dining areas, the Titanic also featured several social areas where first-class passengers could enjoy themselves as they traversed the Atlantic Ocean.
These areas were designed to be luxurious retreats that would force passengers to forget that they were actually in the middle of the ocean rather than sitting in a comfortable home or cigar bar.
The smoking room was a gentleman’s retreat. While this area was limited to male passengers, it was outfitted with mahogany wall panels, polished brass handrails, molded tin ceiling tiles, plush carpets, and leather upholstered armchairs and sofas.
The smoking area also featured a large and intricately decorated fireplace, which acted as a seating area where gentlemen could enjoy a cigar and a fine whiskey.
Beyond the first-class smoking room, passengers traveling first-class could also enjoy a well-crafted cocktail in one of the luxurious bar areas or refined conversation with other guests in the comfortable and sophisticated social lounges.
A luxurious a la carte restaurant allowed passengers to enjoy a sophisticated meal between more extravagant meals hosted in the primary dining room.
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The idea behind these luxurious rooms was to help time pass quickly, so passengers would hardly notice they were at sea. Where crossing the ocean in the early 20th century was a lengthy and tiresome affair, the Titanic was designed to be a true pleasure for those traveling in its upper-class accommodations.
The Titanic’s first and second-class areas also featured other impressive amenities. These included reading rooms and libraries adorned with leather-bound books, comfortable armchairs, thick wooden desks, fireplaces, and the finest stationery.
First-class passengers could even enjoy access to two electric elevators. One was located near the ship’s atrium, while the second was located on the starboard side of the ship, which allowed first-class passengers to quickly access their cabins.
Even second-class passengers had access to an elevator on the port side of the ship, which, again, allowed them to travel to the second-class cabin areas.
Like other first-class areas of the ship, the reading rooms and libraries mimicked the most luxurious accommodations in cities like New York, Paris, and London.
Luxurious wood paneling, comfortable and plush furnishings, intricately carved molding along the ceilings, and eye-catching curtains all made passengers feel as if they were in a high-class establishment, rather than a ship at sea.
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The Titanic’s primary first-class lounge was situated near the stunning views offered by the promenade deck. This area was one of the ship’s true highlights and was called the “First-Class Reading and Writing Room.” As the name implies, passengers could enjoy quiet areas for reading books and newspapers, or they could pass the time by writing in solitude.
This lounge also had areas where passengers could socialize and enjoy a beverage. Whether in the quiet reading areas or the livelier social rooms, the lounge was designed to provide a comfortable and pleasant environment where passengers could truly enjoy their trip in style.
The Titanic also featured amenities that most would associate with modern-day cruise ships, like a swimming pool, a luxurious Turkish-style bath and spa, a squash court, and even a fully equipped gymnasium allowing passengers to stretch their legs.
The gym was intended to provide passengers with the opportunity to work on their fitness, while also avoiding the boredom of a typical trans-Atlantic voyage.
The Grand Staircase and Entrance Way
One of the Titanic’s most iconic features was its enormous, eye-catching staircase. This unique feature was located in the forward section of the first-class area of the ship.
It featured a blend of hand-crafted, intricately carved oak and mahogany details and polished brass highlights. While the carpeted staircase was striking enough on its own, it was made even more brilliant thanks to a massive overhead glass dome, which allowed natural light to cover the entire staircase.
The grand staircase was such an ambitious detail in a ship that it became one of the Titanic’s most notable features. Even to this day, the grand staircase is remembered for its unique beauty. This was made even more iconic thanks to its central role in one of the Titanic movie’s most memorable scenes.
The Second-Class Cabins and Communal Areas
While the second-class accommodations were not quite as extravagant as those found in the first-class section of the Titanic, they were still incredibly comfortable and elegant.
The cabins were still fairly spacious and featured chic furnishings and décor. Like those found in the first-class quarters, the beds were comfortable, although somewhat smaller.
Those with second-class tickets could also enjoy their own communal areas, which were impressively tasteful. These areas included a library decorated with polished woodwork and handcrafted enamel lamps.
Second-class passengers also had access to a smoking room, socializing lounge, bar area, and dining saloon. All of these areas were designed with grandeur and opulence in mind.
While many people with a basic understanding of the Titanic believe that luxury was limited to those in the first-class areas of the ship, even the ship’s second-class section was designed to be both memorable and luxurious, speaking to the overall grandeur of the Titanic’s interior.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long did it take to build the Titanic?
The Titanic took approximately two years and eight months to build. Work started in Belfast, Ireland, on March 31, 1909. On April 2, 1912, the Titanic completed its final sea trial, which marked its completion. Just eight days later, on April 10, 1912, the Titanic set off on its first and last voyage.
How much did it cost to build the Titanic?
The Titanic cost £1.5 million to make, equivalent to roughly $7.5 million at the time of its construction. When you account for inflation, this sum in 1912 would have been the modern-day equivalent of about $225 million.
While $225 million is far from insignificant, cruise ships today cost significantly more to build. The most advanced and luxurious cruise ships can easily exceed costs of $1 billion!
How many passengers could the Titanic carry?
Titanic was designed to accommodate roughly 3,300 passengers and crew members. Given its unrivaled luxury, the ship carried about 900 people, including butlers and waiters, the navigational crew, and engine room workers.
Of the passengers on board, about 700 would travel in first-class accommodations, 500 in the second-class section of the ship, and a further 1,000 in the ship’s less glamorous third-class area.
While the Titanic was not the only luxury liner of its time, its sophisticated interior and massive scale made it stand out.
Even before it departed on its fateful maiden voyage, the Titanic had already gained a widespread reputation for its elegance and grandeur.
Even today, the Titanic’s interior is an example of luxury on the water. This legacy continues to impact today’s cruise line industry, as ships wow and amaze passengers with luxurious accommodations and dazzling amenities.