How Big Was Titanic Compared to a Modern Cruise Ship: Titanic vs Wonder of the Seas

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Filed Under: Wonder of the Seas

When it comes to ocean liners, the Titanic is one of the most iconic ships in history. Despite the fact that it sank over a century ago, the Titanic remains a popular topic of discussion and fascination. One of the things that people often wonder about is how big was Titanic compared to cruise ship behemoths like the Wonder of the Seas?

Titanic was the largest passenger liner ever built at the time. While the Titanic was an impressive feat of engineering, modern cruise ships are much larger and more luxurious. With amenities like multiple pools, rock climbing walls, and ice-skating rinks, modern cruise ships are like floating cities. Modern cruise ships have also safety features and precautions that were not available on the Titanic, making them much safer for passengers.

Key Points

  • The largest cruise ship in the World is over five times larger than the Titanic in terms of Gross Tonnage.
  • Facilities and amenities on modern cruise ships are like floating cities.
  • Titanic was a passenger liner rather than a cruise ship. It was designed to GET to a destination, not BE the destination. 
  • Modern cruise ships have safety features and precautions that were not available on the Titanic.
  • The loss of Titanic changed ship safety laws forever.
Titanic Compared to Cruise Ship - Painting of the Titanic

Wonder Of The Seas vs Titanic – Size Comparison

When it comes to size, modern cruise ships are much larger and longer than Titanic.  On average, modern cruise ships are around 1,000 feet in length, while the Titanic was 882 feet long. So while the Titanic wasn’t quite as long as a modern cruise ship, newer ships dwarf it in terms of beam (width) and height.

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas is more than twice as wide as the Titanic. This width is required to house the vast array of amenities within the ship.  This includes 20 restaurants, 4 pools, 2 rock climbing walls, an ice-skating rink, a surf simulator, a zip line that is 10 decks high, a 1400-seat theater, an outdoor aquatic theater with 30-foot high platforms, and more.

When it comes to capacity, modern cruise ships can carry many more passengers than the Titanic.  Wonder of the Seas can accommodate up to 6,988 passengers and 2,300 crew members, while the Titanic could carry 2,435 passengers and 892 crew members.

Another way to compare the size of ships is by using gross tonnage (GT). GT measures a ship’s overall size, including all enclosed spaces. The Wonder of the Seas has a gross tonnage of 236,857, making it (currently) the World’s largest cruise ship. In comparison, the Titanic had a gross tonnage of 46,328. 

Titanic Compared To Cruise Ship - Wonder of the Seas Fast Facts
Wonder of the Seas – Image Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Early next year Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is due to launch Icon of the Seas, which will be the biggest cruise ship afloat and will have a Gross Tonnage of 250,810, so even bigger than the Wonder.

Of course, with all this added size comes added cost. Today’s cruise ships are much more expensive to build and operate than the Titanic was. The exact cost to build the Wonder of the Seas is not publicly disclosed.  It’s safe to assume that as the largest ship of all time, it’s significantly higher than the Titanic.

Titanic cost around $7.5 million (in 1912 dollars). Modern cruise ships like the Wonder of the Seas are much larger than the Titanic and more luxurious than she ever was. With more amenities, larger capacities, and higher gross tonnage, these vessels are truly engineering marvels. 

Titanic vs Cruise Ship Size – Cruise Ship Size Comparison Image

This image allows you to compare the Titanic vs Oasis class cruise ships like Wonder of the Seas if they were docked together today. The older ship was actually only 3/4 of the length of Wonder. 

Titanic Compared to Cruise Ship - Could this be how the Titanic would look next to the Wonder of the Seas?
Could this be how Titanic might have looked docked next to Wonder of the Seas?

Titanic Compared to Cruise Ship – Facilities and Amenities

When it comes to facilities and amenities, modern cruise ships have come a long way since the Titanic. Today’s ships offer a wide range of activities and entertainment options that cater to all ages and interests. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key facilities you can expect to find on a modern cruise ship.

Pools and Water Activities

One of the most popular amenities on a cruise ship is the swimming pool. Most modern ships have multiple pools, including ones for adults only, family-friendly pools. They may even have water parks with slides and other attractions. Some ships also have unique features like surfing simulators and infinity pools.

Dining and Entertainment

When it comes to entertainment and dining on a cruise ship, there is something for everyone. From gourmet restaurants to casual cafes, there are plenty of options to choose from. Most cruise ships also have theaters that feature Broadway-style shows, as well as comedy clubs, nightclubs, and live music venues.

Accommodations

The modern ships offer a wide range of accommodations to fit every budget and preference. From cozy interior cabins to luxurious suites with balconies. Some ships like the upcoming Icon of the Seas, even offer multi-level loft suites with private hot tubs and butler service.

When comparing the facilities and amenities of the Titanic to modern cruise ships, it’s clear that today’s ships offer a much wider range of options. While the Titanic had a swimming pool and Turkish bath, modern ships have multiple pools, water parks, and the aforementioned surfing simulators. 

The Sinking of the Titanic in 1912

You are probably familiar with the story of how Titanic sank on its maiden voyage. The Titanic was the largest ship ever built.  Operated by the White Star Line, the luxury liner’s maiden voyage was supposed to take passengers from Southampton, England to New York City. However, on April 14-15, 1912, tragedy struck when the Titanic would hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The Titanic was traveling at a high speed and the crew didn’t see the iceberg until it was too late. The iceberg was huge and it ripped a hole in the side of the ship. Water started pouring into the ship and the crew realized that the ship was sinking.

The passengers and crew were in a state of panic as the ship started to sink. There weren’t enough lifeboats for everyone on board and many people were left stranded on the sinking ship. The temperature was freezing and the water was icy cold, making it difficult for people to survive in the water.

The Titanic had a total of 2240 passengers on board when she sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. It was a tragic event that claimed the lives of 1503 people. The sinking of the Titanic is one of the most famous maritime disasters in history.

Titanic Sinks - Boston Daily Globe News Report

Titanic Ocean Liner vs Modern Cruise Ship – Safety Features and Precautions

The sinking of the RMS Titanic had a profound effect and resulted in significant changes in maritime policy. Cruise ships are built now with safety very much the priority Here are some of the key changes that were made:

Lifeboats

Before the Titanic disaster, ships were not required to carry enough lifeboats for all passengers and crew. The Titanic, for instance, could only accommodate about 38% of its total capacity in its lifeboats. After the disaster, both the British and American Boards of Inquiry recommended that ships must carry enough lifeboats for everyone on board. These recommendations were incorporated into the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea passed in 1914.

24-hour Radio Watch and Distress Rockets

The United States government passed the Radio Act of 1912, which mandated 24-hour radio communications on passenger ships. This was to ensure that distress calls would not be missed. The Act also required ships to maintain contact with vessels in their vicinity and coastal onshore radio stations. Additionally, the firing of red flares from a ship was agreed to be interpreted as a sign of distress.

International Ice Patrol

The Titanic disaster led to the formation of the International Ice Patrol, an agency of the United States Coast Guard. This agency monitors and reports on the location of North Atlantic Ocean icebergs that could pose a threat to transatlantic sea traffic.

Ship Design Changes

Ships were refitted for increased safety following the Titanic disaster. Many ships, including the RMS Olympic, had their double bottoms extended up the sides of their hulls to give them double hulls. The bulkheads on other ships were extended higher to make the compartments fully watertight.

These changes have significantly improved the safety of maritime travel since the Titanic disaster. 

Overall, modern cruise ships are much safer than the Titanic thanks to their advanced safety features and precautions. Whether you’re a seasoned cruise ship traveler or a first-time passenger, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands when you set sail on a modern cruise ship.

By Today’s Standards, The Titanic Was Tiny

While the Titanic was a marvel of its time, modern cruise ships have come a long way in terms of safety, size, and amenities.

The Titanic was considered a massive ship in its time, but compared to modern cruise ships it would be dwarfed.  

Of course, it’s not just about size when comparing Titanic. One of the most significant differences between the Titanic and modern cruise ships is the number of lifeboats. The Titanic only had enough lifeboats to accommodate 38% of its passengers and crew.  In contrast, modern cruise ships have enough lifeboats to accommodate all passengers and crew, ensuring their safety in case of an emergency.

The Titanic was a tragic example of what can happen when safety precautions are not taken seriously. Fortunately, modern cruise ships have learned from the past and have implemented safety measures to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers and crew.

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Alan took his first cruise in 1991 and has been cruising ever since. When he is not writing articles for CruiseNonstop.com you'll find him either on a cruise ship (he's the guy in the kilt), or on the golf course!

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