White Star’s Oceanic, under Captain Digby Murray, sailed from Liverpool on 2nd March 1871, heading for Queenstown and then New York. She had 64 passengers aboard. Soon after she left, the crankshaft bearings in the engine started to overheat, and Oceanic was forced to put into Holyhead. After temporary repairs, she returned to Liverpool for a full repair.
She was fitted with a 4-cylinder double expansion compound engine with 12 boilers, and was designed to have a service speed of 14 knots. A notable feature of her design was that passenger accommodation was in the more stable amidships area. Prior to this most vessels’ accommodation was at the stern, where passengers experienced more turbulence, vibration and noise.
On 16th March Oceanic was finally able to resume her crossing, and arrived at Pavonia Ferry’s Long Dock in Jersey City on 29th March. Among the passengers on board were T.H. Ismay and Gustav Wolff.