In the summer of 1911, the Booth clan left Cranbrook, headed for a European vacation. The family traveled via New York, where they boarded the RMS Olympic, part of the White Star Line and sister ship to the Titanic. Designed as a luxury ship, many of the features on the Olympic were identical to the more famous Titanic. The Olympic had its maiden voyage on June 14, 1911, arriving in New York on June 21, 1911. The captain of its first voyage was none other than Edward Smith, who would lose his life aboard the Titanic one year later. The ship’s return trip to England left June 28, 1911, carrying the Booths. Another famous passenger on board was ship designer Thomas Andrews, who would also later perish on Titanic.
In April of 1912, the Olympic was one of the ships that received the distress call from Titanic, but it was too far to help in the rescue. The Olympic offered to take on survivors, but was turned down, as it was thought that passengers would panic at having to board a ship that was a mirror-image to the Titanic.
After the Titanic disaster, the Olympic had to be refitted, as it, too, did not carry enough life boats for all the passengers.
~Robbie Terman, Archivist