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Transatlantic companies and the White Star ferries

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Transatlantic companies in the boom era of Cherbourg’s harbour

With the huge increase in emigration, numerous ships from foreign maritime companies made regular stop-overs in Cherbourg harbour, made accessible by train in 1958. Whereas only three transatlantic companies used the port of Cherbourg in 1900, the number rose to seven in 1913 and eleven in 1927. These companies were mostly English (Cunard, Royal Mail and White Star Line), but also Greek, Belgian (Red Star), Swedish, American, Canadian (Canadian Pacific) and German (Hamburg Amerika Line).

Transbordeurs devant la gare maritime de 1912 à Cherbourg

Tenders in front of first transatlantic terminal building


Tenders run by White Star Line transferred passengers between the ship and the quay.

Transatlantic liners were able to stop and moor within the outer harbour, but it was impossible to dock at the time with no deep water port. Passengers were transferred from and to ships using small steam boats called tenders.

By 1911, the transatlantic company White Star Line had set up an office in Cherbourg and decided to station two tenders Nomadic and Traffic ahead of the inaugural stop-over of the Olympic, sister ship of the soon-to-be Titanic.

The two White Star Line tenders embarked the 1st, 2nd and 3rd class passengers as well as luggage and mail bags on board the Titanic on April 10th 1912.

Un autre transbordeur devant la gare maritime de 1912 à Cherbourg

Another tender in Cherbourg

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