The Legacy of Titanic- Cruise Lines learn about reality

Today’s cruise industry exists and operates as it does in many ways as a result of the Titanic tragedy. This week we take a look at the legacy left behind in ways that affect cruise passengers on every sailing of every ship.

Titanic was the most advanced vessel of her day. Built with the best technology of the time, White Star Line which owned the ship thought her unsinkable.

Titanic was designed to compete with Cunard Line’s Lusitania and Mauretania and focused on high-end luxury travel, very much as depicted in the movie Titanic.

Out of 840 staterooms, almost half were first-class accommodations. The ship was built for pleasure and beauty. It was filling that order which would contribute to the loss of life just days after launching Titanic. The ship was designed to hold 32 lifeboats but only 20 were on board.

Cruise line management thought too many lifeboats would take away from the beauty of the ship. The 20 lifeboats on board Titanic could carry a total of 1,178 of the 3,547 the ship might have if fully loaded.

On that tragic night in 1912 when Titanic sank, the SS Californian was the closest ship to Titanic and many believe it could have easily rescued all on board. Unfortunately, the radio operator went to sleep not long before Titanic started broadcasting emergency distress messages.

After the Titanic sinking, ships were required to have enough lifeboats for everyone on the ship. Existing ships were refitted in a variety of ways and ship design changed to address safety issues.

The International Convention for the Safety of Life A Sea (SOLAS) is a treaty passed in 1914 in answer to the sinking of the Titanic. It addressed the lifeboat issue along with specifying emergency equipment and procedures including radio watches.

Today, advanced weather forecasting and navigational equipment on cruise ships take advantage of the great strides made possible by modern technology. GPS monitoring allows cruise lines to know where cruise ships are at all times. On-board video surveillance systems keep track of passengers and crew and are often called upon to solve cases of crime at sea.

Join us tomorrow as we take a look at one of the key figures in the Legacy of Titanic, the Captain of the ship. We’ll explore the Captain’s role then and now as more cruise ships sail more itineraries in more parts of the world than ever before.

Flickr photo by formatc1

Submit Your Story for the Solas Travel Awards – Soon!

The deadline for entry into the Second Annual Solas Awards is fast approaching — October 15 is the last day to submit your travel stories to be included for consideration by the team at Travelers’ Tales. This is the second year that the California-based travel publisher has sponsored the awards. We told ya about them when the awards were first announced last year, and want to be sure not to forget to remind you about this year’s competition as well.

Here is how it works: The Travelers’ Tales editors will choose winners in 21 categories ranging from adventure to humor, from destination to memoir, and everything in between. The grand prize category has cash awards of $1,000, $750, and $500; all other category winners receive a certificate and a copy of the most recent edition of Travelers’ Tales The Best Travel Writing or The Best Women’s Travel Writing. There are award entry fees and other rules, so check out for details of the awards and more.

One final related travel writing tidbit — If you live in San Francisco, you may be interested in Travelers Tales’ Executive Editor Larry Habegger’s advanced travel writing workshop. A new offering of the course begins this week (October 10), and there are two slots left. For more information go to