When she set out on her first voyage to New York in 1845, SS Great Britain was the largest passenger ship ever built, and she would go on to transport over 30,000 people during her 41-year-working life.
For most of that period, the ship carried emigrants between Liverpool and Melbourne on the notoriously testing Australia run - a non-stop sea journey that lasted anywhere between two to three months. Great Britain made this journey 32 times between 1852 and 1875, battling through all conditions with a combination of steam and sail power.
But who were the passengers that embarked on such a gruelling voyage? What were their reasons for leaving home? And what was it really like to be a passenger on Brunel’s revolutionary ocean liner?
Using original diaries from the passengers who sailed aboard SS Great Britain, History Hit presenters Luke Tomes and Louee Dessent show you how a voyage across the world could look very different, depending on who you were and how much money you had…
Whilst Louee enjoys a first class experience aboard SS Great Britain, enjoying luxury accommodation and grandeur in the dining saloon, down below deck, Luke steps into the shoes of a passenger in the lowest class on the Victorian ocean liner, steerage.
How did the experience of a first class and steerage passenger compare? Watch this video to find out.
Voiceovers: Tom Brown, Lucy Davidson, Laura McMillen, Alister Tomes, Tristan Hughes, Kyle Cairns