R.M.S. Olympic steamed into New York at the conclusion of her maiden voyage on 21st June 1911. Her arrival signaled the commercial launch of the new 'Olympic-Class' trio, unbeknownst that she would be the only one of her class to make this arrival. The losses of 'Titanic', with great tragedy in 1912, and 'Britannic', an unfortunate victim of war in 1916, left Olympic as the only sister in commercial service. Defying the record of her ill-fated siblings, she would make the welcome arrival into New York over two-hundred-and-fifty times during her long and prestigious career. Her popularity was enduring until the late 1920s when she gained her reputation as a 'film star' liner, carrying the great and famous, as well as many attracted by the atmosphere of pre-war opulence and security that her luxurious accommodations seemed to provide.
The facilities offered in all travel classes had been world-leading when she entered service and the White Star Line continually improved her accommodations to ensure that she remained at the head of the market. With her extensive Third Class having been built for the era of mass immigration from Europe to the New World, the company introduced the new Tourist-Third Cabin to her facilities in the mid-1920s in response to the decline in migrant travel. The new Tourist Class would replace this by 1928. Although fashionable and nationally respected, her commercial success waned in the clutches of the Great Depression. The merger of Cunard and White Star in 1934 left little resources available to maintain their great pre-war fleets. She departed for her final voyage from New York on 5th April 1935. Gradually laid aside for scrap along with her former rival, the great greyhound 'Mauretania', her hull had disappeared by 1937.
First Class 1928
First Class travel on Olympic was a rare experience. Designed in the Edwardian fashion of opulent period styles and formal room arrangements, her interiors conveyed a unique dignity when compared with many of her contemporaries on the North Atlantic. The popularity of these lavish rooms would prove enduring until the last days of her commercial career.
Extensive refurbishments introduced new accommodations for 'Tourist-Third' Cabin passengers throughout the 1920s. By 1928, this new class of travel was vanishing, being gradually merged with Second Class to form the new Tourist Class. Olympic's combination of period style with modern comfort made this a popular choice as she entered the difficult days of the 1930s.