RMS Adriatic (1906)

RMS Adriatic was an ocean liner of the White Star Line. She was the fourth of a quartet of ships measuring over 20,000 tons, dubbed The Big Four. The ship was the only one of the four which was never the world's largest ship; however, she was the fastest of the Big Four. Adriatic was the first ocean liner to have an indoor swimming pool and a Turkish bath.[1]

RMS Adriatic in an old postcard.
United Kingdom
Name: RMS Adriatic
Namesake: Adriatic sea in Montenegro and Croatia
Owner: White Star Line
Port of registry: Liverpool
  • Liverpool to New York
  • Southampton to New York
Builder: Harland and Wolff
Yard number: 358
Launched: 20 September 1906
Completed: 25 April 1907
Maiden voyage: 8 May 1907
In service: 1907
Out of service: 1935
Homeport: Liverpool
Fate: Scrapped in Onomichi, Japan in 1935
Status: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class and type: Big Four
Type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 24,541 GT
Length: 729 ft (222.7 m)
Beam: 73 ft (22.3 m)
Decks: 7 decks
Propulsion: Two Quadruple Expansion Steam Engines- Twin propellers
Speed: 17 knots (31.484 km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
20 lifeboats
  • 2,825 total:
    • 425 First Class
    • 500 Second Class
    • 1900 Third Class


She was built by Harland and Wolff and was launched on 20 September 1906 (the same day as the Cunard Line's Mauretania). She set off on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York City on 8 May 1907 under the command of Captain Edward Smith. She was changed to the Southampton run after her maiden voyage and inaugurated White Star's Southampton service. She was the first White Star liner to use the newly constructed dock in Southampton, named the White Star Dock (it was renamed in 1922 to the Ocean Dock). She ran this route until 1911 when Olympic replaced her; Adriatic then returned to the Liverpool run. Adriatic sailed from Liverpool on 18 April 1912 and arrived in New York on 27 April 1912. Some of Titanic's rescued passengers and crew travelled back to Britain aboard her, departing New York on 2 May 1912. The passengers included White Star Line chairman J. Bruce Ismay[2] and Millvina Dean, the disaster's youngest and last living survivor.

War service

During World War I, Adriatic served as a troopship and survived the war without incident. After the war ended, she returned to passenger service. In 1928, she was converted to a "cabin-class" ship. In 1933, she was withdrawn from the North Atlantic route and was converted into cruising.

Following the successful 1933 "Peace Cruise" in the Baltic by the Calgaric, in 1934 the British Boy Scouts and Girl Guides chartered her for a similar cruise in the Mediterranean, under the command of Commander C.P. Freeman, R.D.. Adriatic sailed from Liverpool on 29 March 1934, and called at Gibraltar, Villefranche, Malta, Algiers, and Lisbon.[3]


Adriatic left Liverpool for the last time on 19 December 1934, her longest voyage ever, to be scrapped at Onomichi, Japan, in 1935.



  1. Shifrin, Malcolm (2015). "Chapter 23: The Turkish bath at sea". Victorian Turkish Baths. Historic England. ISBN 978-1-84802-230-0.
  2. http://www.thegreatoceanliners.com/adriatic2.html
  3. Reference to follow, once the Journal I have of a passenger has been transcribed and put up.


  • Chirnside, Mark (2016). The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic. Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press. ISBN 9780750965972.
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