How the White Star Line Shipping Co. Celebrated Christmas

How the White Star Line Shipping Co. Celebrated Christmas

30 James Street- Home of the Titanic was once home to the head offices of the White Star Line shipping company whose grand ships were responsible for some of the earliest and most luxurious trans-Atlantic travel.

As with today, many passengers who could afford the luxury of global travel would often head to warmer climates during the winter and would sometimes unavoidably find themselves enjoying Christmas day on board a cruise liner.

Here we have uncovered what a Christmas day dinner would have looked like onboard the finest cruise vessels of White Stars time.

Christmas day menu on board SS Gothic 1895

RMS Gothic was built in 1893 and was responsible for ferrying cargo and passengers from London to New Zealand. The RMS Gothic could hold 104 first class passengers and 114-second class and steerage passengers.

The long voyage route took passengers along the coast of Europe, around the Canary Islands and down to South Africa’s Cape Town. 

RMS Gothic would make a short stop in Australia before heading on to the final destination in New Zealand. This entire trip would take approximately 37.5 days meaning passengers were on board for over a month at a time. 

Luckily the White Star Line shipping company catered well to all passenger requirements and even provided a delicious menu especially for Christmas day lunch onboard RMS Gothic.

Christmas Day Dinner menu 1900 RMS Afric

Escaping the cold English weather for a little winter sun in Australia, travellers who boarded the RMS Afric were in for a real treat.

One of White Star Line shipping companies newest vessels, RMS Afic could transport 350 passengers and even had a built-in freezer compartment to store meat.

Passengers sailing for warmer climates didn’t need to sacrifice a Merry Christmas as the RMS Afric took care of arranging a delightful dinner for all to enjoy.

The delicacies served onboard included the traditional Goose and Applesauce, Mince Pies and Christmas pudding with brandy sauce.

In 1917 the RMS Afric was sailing near to Eddystone and Lizards point when a German U-Boat fired a torpedo into the rear of the ship. 145 passengers and crew were able to evacuate before a second blast was fired and the RMS Afric sank.

Today the wreck of the White Star Liner, RMS Afric lies at the bottom of the ocean almost fully intact. There’s a rumour that the freezer chamber in the bow of the ship still has visible remnants of frozen meat bones.

White Star Line’s Special Christmas Cruises on board RMS Homeric

Before World War One broke out trans-Atlantic travel was booming. White Star, Cunard and Norddeutscher Lloyd dominates the seas and fought against each other to provide passengers with bigger, faster and more luxurious ships.

White Star Line shipping company owned and operated the largest and most luxurious of them all. RMS Titanic, RMS Britannic and RMS Oceanic were all sank by icebergs, mines or poor navigation in the case of the RMS Oceanic.

After losing all their best ships White Star Line shipping company took a back seat to Cunard and Norddeutscher Lloyd’s fleet.

That was until after World War One when RMS Homeric, originally a  Norddeutscher Lloyd commission, as sold to the White Star Line shipping company in 1920.

RMS Homeric became part of White Stars luxury three ship service, also including the RMS Olympic, Titanic’s twin and RMS Majestic another Norddeutscher Lloyd ship handed over after the war.

These ships were sailed in direct competition with some of Cunard’s greatest ships such as the Mauretania, Aquitania and Berengaria, also a  Norddeutscher Lloyd ship.

Now it was easy to take the family off to sunnier climates at Christmas and finding safe and luxurious passage couldn’t be easier when travelling by the White Star Line shipping company.

Their dazzling Christmas cruise in 1933 took passengers on a jaunt around the blue seas of the Mediterranean, past Italy and into the warm water off the coast of North Africa.

RMS Homeric was the first of White Star Line’s cruise ships used exclusively in the Mediterranean and had a stylishly opulent interior.

Even after being made redundant from cruising the fine furnishings from RMS Homeric were removed and stored. They even featured on a BBC documentary about the Golden Age of Liners.

Images below show how comfortable first-class travellers would have been on their Christmas cruise around the Med in 1933 thanks to White Star Line and their efforts to outdo the strong competition of Cunard.

Imagine eating your Christmas dinner in the first class dining lounge shown above.

The light and airy first-class dining lounge.

Mimicking the popular trend for Parisienne style cafes on board most luxury liners is RMS Homeric’s Verandah Cafe.

Join us at 30 James Street this Christmas in Liverpool

Our stunning heritage hotel in Liverpool will be welcoming guests through the doors this December to enjoy a  festive Liverpool break in first-class style. The respectful restoration carried out on White Star Line’s head offices has preserved and promoted the historical significance of a truly remarkable building.

White Star Line demanded the highest quality luxury for their vessels, as was obvious onboard RMS Titanic and other magnificent vessels that sailed under the White Star livery.

At 30 James Street, we wanted to deliver that same level of high-class luxury to our guests, helping them enjoy a comfortable first class visit to Liverpool. We have some remarkable accommodation offers perfect for a festive visit to the city including spa visits and this year you can even join us for a festive lunch.

On the 22nd of December, the weekend leading up to Christmas get yourself into the spirit of the season inside the stunning White Star Grand Hall where we’ll be hosting a glamorous dinner party including a three-course meal and a half bottle of wine per person to toast to the occasion.

Book your seats at the most stylish celebration of the season here. 

To arrange your stay this Christmas in Liverpool with 30 James Street – Home of the Titanic,  simply call 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk and make your booking today.