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How the Titanic Accommodated Wealthy Passengers

One of the most important features of the White Star Line’s three steamships, including the Titanic, would be unimaginable luxury offered to wealthy passengers. The world was, after all, in the Gilded Age, and the wealthy were more than willing to live in the lap of luxury, no matter the cost.

For first-class passengers, the Titanic was as much a luxury hotel as a steamship. It offered all the amenities of a five-star hotel: luxury suites, a swimming pool, an exercise room, a library, and a Turkish bath.

The financial and social elite were the White Star Line’s main clientele. The company ordered Thomas Andrews, its chief designer (and also William James Pirrie’s nephew), to design ships that would make the wealthy feel like they were traveling the ocean in the finest hotel they could imagine. The Titanic offered the moneyed flawless personal service; pleasurable amenities; the best food and drink; and beautiful facilities.

American multimillionaires were fortunate to be living in an era before income taxes — a time when they didn’t pay a penny of income tax on their vast fortunes. How else would they have been able to afford a £870 ticket (approximately $100,000 in today’s dollars) for a voyage on the Titanic?

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