FALSE. Titanic was only about half full as she carried approximately 1,308 passengers on her maiden voyage, but had the capacity to carry 2,603. Some passengers may have decided to travel on the Titanic because of the popularity of Captain E.J.Smith, known as the ‘Millionaire’s Captain’, for his reputation as an experienced and debonair commander of transatlantic liners, or because of the class’s reputation for comfort. The Dodge family, according to Walter Lord, had been persuaded by their steward on the Olympic, Titanic’s sister ship, to travel back to America on the Titanic. For many, though, it would simply have been the first available or convenient choice. Lady Duff Gordon, who booked at the last minute for an urgent business trip to the New York branch of her fashion house, Maison Lucile, was still able to obtain First Class cabins for herself and her husband, Sir Cosmo.
However, due to a miners’ strike, which had only just ended on April 6th, there was a general shortage of coal; arrangements had been made with other shipping Lines to transfer their coal to Titanic, and to transfer their passengers who had booked on other ships to sail on Titanic’s maiden voyage. These passengers therefore did not choose to travel on the Titanic, but would have almost certainly been pleased to be transferred to a newer and more comfortable ship. A number of berths were filled this way, but even with these extra passengers Titanic was only half-full.
This was also the case for Titanic’s older sister, Olympic, on her maiden voyage. She was also only a little over half- full, but the 425 First Class passengers she carried on that trip was considered to be a record for a westward voyage in June, even though the Olympic-class had the capacity for over 900 passengers in First Class.
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