The RMS Titanic was a passenger ship of the British shipping company White Star Line. It was built in Belfast at the Harland & Wolff shipyard and was the largest ship in the world when it entered service on 2 April 1912. Like its two sister ships, the Olympic and Britannic, the Titanic was the second of three Olympic-class steamers and was intended for the North Atlantic liner service on the route Southampton-Cherbourg-Queenstown-New York, New York-Plymouth-Cherbourg-Southampton, and was to set new standards in travel comfort. On its maiden voyage, the Titanic collided laterally with an iceberg about 300 nautical miles southeast of Newfoundland at about 23:40 on 14 April 1912 and sank two hours and 40 minutes later.
Although more than two hours were available for evacuation, 1514 of the more than 2200 people on board were killed - mainly because of the insufficient number of lifeboats and the inexperience of the crew in handling them. Because of the high number of victims, the sinking of the Titanic is one of the biggest and most famous catastrophes in the maritime world. The sinking prompted numerous measures to improve safety at sea. On 12 November 1913, a conference was convened to establish a minimum international standard for safety on merchant ships. This conference resulted in the first version of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea in 1914. This included the provision of lifeboats, 24-hour manning of radio stations and the establishment of the International Ice Patrol.
Because of the circumstances surrounding its sinking, the Titanic is one of the most famous ships in history. Worldwide, literature, fine arts, film and television still deal with the events of its maiden voyage and the sinking. The film of the same name, made in 1997, has attracted particular attention, and its name stands for serious accidents and the uncontrollability of nature through technical achievements.