The full text of this article is available to Plus members only.
For full access to all of our articles, please Join or Log In.
Not a Plus Member?
Now What?: Sail Prices
Answers for the beginner, the befuddled and anyone hitting a brick wall.
Q. I would love to know how much it cost for my grandparents with their four children to sail from Bremen to New York in 1896. Any suggestions where could find this information?

A. The cost to travel from Europe to America varied by the class, the departure port and the destination, just as today we have different fares to travel by air. Around the turn of the 20th century, a typical steamship one-way passage was from $10 to $35 for third class (steerage), $40 for second class and $80 for first. But just as airline-ticket costs fluctuate today, prices rose and fell when our ancestors came to America by ship. It might be more costly to go during a particular season than another. If you know the name of the ship, the steamship line and precisely when your grandparents came, you might be able to find more specific costs by contacting maritime museums, such as The National Maritime Museum <> or Mystic Seaport Museum <>. For links to maritime museums on the Web, go to <>. Although the company doesn't do research, New Steamship Consultants' ocean liner memorabilia Web site <> sells brochures listing steamships' schedules and fares. You can also try contacting the steamship line directly, if it's still in operation. Most published sources about the immigrant experience contain the average fares as mentioned above.

From the April 2002 issue of Family Tree Magazine

To continue reading this article
Share |
Did you enjoy this article?
Please share it!
Recent Blog Posts »
Recent Articles »

Free Genealogy Downloads

Historical Maps of Europe Premium Collection
When you buy the Historical Maps of Europe Premium Collection, you'll get the brand new Family Tree Historical Maps Book: Europe, as well as an assortment of other incredible tools to trace you ancestors back to the home country and visualize the world in which they lived--in full color.
Only available in March, this collection has a retail value of $197.95, but is yours this month only for $59.99!

They're going fast - get yours today!

©  F+W All rights reserved.