Ship Fact Files


Owner: Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (White Star Line)

Ship Name:


Vessel type: Passenger ship

Official No: 110596

Harland & Wolff Ltd,
Queen's Island, Belfast

Yard No: 317

Laid down: 18 March 1897

Launched: 14 January 1899

Handed over: 26 August 1899

Port & Date of Registry: Liverpool, 19 August 1899

Managing Owner & Address:
Harold Arthur Sanderson,
30 James Street, Liverpool


Number of Decks: 4

Number of Masts: 3

Rigged: Schooner

Stern: Elliptical

Build: Clencher

Framework & Description of Vessel: Steel

Number of Bulkheads: 13

Number of water ballast tanks: 14


Length: 685.7

Breadth: 68.35

Depth: 44.5

Gross Registered Tonnage: 17,273.94


Engine Builder: Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast

Engine Type: 2 X triple expansion inverted direct acting surface condensing

Cylinders: 2 X 47½; 2 X 79; 2 X 93 inches

Stroke: 72 inches

Nominal Horse Power: 4,130


Description: Cylindrical multi-tubular

Number: 15 double ended

Iron or Steel: Steel

Pressure when loaded: 192lbs

Screw: Twin

Speed: 21 knots

Signal Letters: R. H. D. F.


They called Oceanic the 'crowning glory of the 19th century'. She was the first vessel to exceed the length of I. K. Brunel's famous steamship Great Eastern, but not her tonnage, that record was broken with the launch of Celtic (Yard No. 335) in April 1901. Oceanic was originally planned to have a sister given the name Olympic; the two 'O's intended to dominate the transatlantic passenger trade and maintain White Star's position over its rivals as the world's leading shipping line. The death of Company's founder T. H. Ismay in November 1899 put paid to these plans and the second vessel was cancelled. At £750,000 the construction of Oceanic had financially exhausted the Company; her interiors were of the finest quality and impossible to replicate on a larger scale in the 'Olympic' class, so Oceanic remains, in the eyes of many maritime historians, the finest example of Victorian shipbuilding design ever constructed.