Edgar Odell Lovett and his wife, Mary Hale Lovett, and Rice Secretary F. Carrington Weems, sailed across the Atlantic on the "Empress of Ireland". Other legs of their world tour were made possible by other ships and trains.
They traveled by rail from Houston to Montreal, Canada. They left Montreal on July 24, 1908, aboard the Empress of Ireland, a steamer run by the Canadian Pacific Line. In just under a week's time, they arrived in Liverpool, where their visits to educational institutions began.
The Lovetts enjoyed social life on board the ships. Mrs. Lovett participated in the social life on board by performing in this charitable program benefiting the Liverpool Seamen's Orphan Institution.
In February, 1909, Lovett and Weems traveled on the SS Corvania, a steamer, from Granada, Spain to Genoa, Italy. Later that month they traveled from Italy to Greece on the SS Bruenn, and from Greece to Turkey on the SS Reine Olga.
Traveling by train up through to St. Peterburg in March, they boarded the Trans-Siberian Express and rumbled across Russia for twelve days.
The Chinese Eastern Railway was a single tracked line providing a shortcut for the world's longest railroad, the Trans-Siberian Railway. It ran from near the Siberian city of Chita via Harbin across northern inner Manchuria to the Russian port of Vladivostok. This route drastically reduced the travel distance required along the originally proposed main northern route to Vladivostok.
They arrived at Vladivostok on March 22 and boarded the SS Mongolia the next day heading for Japan.
After visiting Japan, they again boarded the SS Mongolia and made way towards Hawaii, resting one night on land, and boarding again for San Francisco, arriving on April 23, 1909.
From there, Mary Lovett traveled home to Kentucky to see her parents and children as quickly as possible.
Lovett and Weems continued traveling south through California, visiting schools. The men finally boarded the Sunset Express for Houston from Los Angeles, arriving on May 7, 1909.