I never fail to be bewildered with the Zeppelins. Apart from the arduous and boring journey - how did the passengers rest - I don't see pics of any rooms or beds - how did they sleep at all?

Transatlantic flights could take more than 100 hours (for example, the final flight left Frankfurt on the evening of 3 May 1937, and arrived late in the evening of 6 May). How on earth could they stock up on food for so many days?

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    "I don't see pics of any rooms or beds" -- how much did you look? They aren't particularly hard to find. A simple Google image search of "Hindenburg cabins" (or even "Hindenburg beds" or "Zeppelin rooms") works in seconds. Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 11:10
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    arduous and boring journey – What makes you think so? You could freely move in a Zeppelin, and partake in activities like conversations, reading, and writing. I consider this much more comfortable and less time-wasting than a plane flight, not to mention a car drive.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 11:22
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    Floating gently through the sky does not meet my threshold for "arduous journey". Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:35
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    On top, a ship took way longer.
    – TomTom
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 15:51
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    "So many days"? You realize that's 100 hours, only 4 days, right?
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 21:51

3 Answers 3


The Hindenburg was originally built with 25 double-berthed cabins which accommodated up to 50 passengers. While the ship was laid up in Frankfurt during the winter of 1936-1937, 9 more cabins were added, accommodating an additional 20 passengers. The capacity was then 70 fare-paying passengers.

The arrangement of cabins on the Hindenburg in 1936 is shown here:

Hindenburg cabins - source: Wikipedia

The crew accommodation was more limited. The Hindenburg carried about 50-60 crew members (it varied from 47 on its maiden flight to 61 on its final flight). The commander had a private cabin just forward of the control car. Other officers shared a compartment with twelve bunks in the same area, while the remaining crew shared 2 crew areas, one with 22 bunks just aft of the passenger accommodation and another with twelve bunks closer to the stern.

100 hours is just over 4 days. Storage for food etc. to feed 120-130 people for four days would really not be a problem on an airship the size of the Hindenburg.

There are a number of websites with cutaway diagrams of the Hindenburg (and other Zeppelins), including the one on airships.net. These give a good idea of how storage and cabin space were distributed.

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    what a heck of a way to travel! i wonder how things like hot water for showers was, etc. I know that even with the hydrogen gas, they had a specially designed smoking cabin, so the paid attention to comfort.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 23:27
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    I looked it up: Hindenburg had only one shower for the whole ship and two bathrooms. This was probably not considered that bad in those days but pretty inconvenient even then. Similar to trains, I guess where I understand even luxury trains do not tend to have private baths.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 23:40
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    @vsz: I would say some luxury trains have private baths -- the Orient Express, last time I checked, did not. But the main thing is, the Hindenburg sure did not.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 13:17
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    @aroth The Hindenburgs normal cruising altitude was only 200m, presumably the passenger/crew area was unpressurized and just had outside air intake/exhaust ports. Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 14:07
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    @TessellatingHeckler while those airships did have great lift capability, weight was by no means a non-issue but very much a limiting factor on passenger capacity. Food is light, but water is not – certainly not in the quantities that modern Westerners are accustomed to running it down the drain... Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 16:40

Never look at history with your own 'modern' perceptions! In those days there were only 2 ways to cross the Atlantic: by ship or by zeppelin. A ship took longer than a zeppelin. Everybody crossed by ship. The zeppelin was as new as space travel now is, so the rich and famous preferred it. If only to show off they could afford it. Boring? Today 4 days seems a bit lengthy without games/movies/ipad/phone. Back then those things didn't exist, so nobody missed them. People read books, talked and kept themselves busy.

Zeppelins could and can carry fairly heavy loads. Stocking up on food wasn't a problem. If I recall correctly, there was even a piano on board! A special light weight version, but still. Passengers enjoyed luxurious accommodation. The crew, not so much. That was completely normal back then.

Luxurious accommodation for that time, that is. In 1900 President Paul Kruger stayed in Hotel Des Indes, in The Hague (NL), which is a 5 star hotel. He didn't have a private bathroom. The whole floor (all 5 star suites!) shared the same bathroom at the end of the corridor! Taking a shower at least once daily is a fairly new custom. As a kid in the sixties we normally showered once or perhaps twice per week. (Paul Kruger was president of Transvaal. During the Boer war he was evacuated to Europe.)


Seems there were a lot of rooms, so food stock shouldnt be an issue.

The interior spaces on the Hindenburg were divided into three main areas:

  • Passenger Decks
  • Control Car
  • Crew Areas

from http://www.airships.net/hindenburg/interiors/

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