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What was the titanic? The Titanic was a cruise ship that was the biggest of its time and it was the best ship for its time. The Titanic was claimed to be the biggest cruise ship of its time and it was unsinkable. The Titanic was fast for a cruise ship it went 23.69 knots to 27.26 and it held that record speed for 22 years. The Titanic departed from Southampton on April 10, 1912 with more than 100,000 people attending the Titanic's departure. Just before midnight on April 14, 1912 the Titanic struck an iceberg and it made a big scrape on the side of the Titanic and some of the Titanic's compartments were broken from the iceberg on the side of the ship. In the early morning of April 15 at around 2:20 a.m. the first couple of compartments were sinking into the water and after 2:20 a.m. the ship sank into the Northern Atlantic. After that tragic night around 1,503 people died including crew members and passengers. Only 705 people survived that night including crew members and passengers. The captain of the ship was Edward John Smith he was a Merchant Navy officer he was the captain of numerous White Star Line vessels. Smith was best known as the captain of the RMS Titanic.