Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, just announced that he will build a high-tech replica of the Titanic at a Chinese shipyard. Its maiden voyage will take place in late 2016, from England to New York, just like its namesake planned.
Palmer, named Australia’s fifth-richest person, has stated that he has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the Titanic II. It will be the first of 4 luxury cruise ships that he has commissioned from CSC Jinling Shipyard.
“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but … will have state-of-the-art 21st-Century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” said Palmer. He added that the project is “a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic.”
Palmer has established a new shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty. Ltd., and has begun the design work for Titanic II with assistance from a historical research team. The diesel-powered ship will have four smoke stacks like the coal-powered original, but they will be purely decorative.
The largest changes from the original Titanic would be below the water line, including welding rather than rivets, a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency and enlarged rudder and bow thrusters for increased maneuverability.
Brett Jardine, general manager for Australia and New Zealand in the industry group International Cruise Council, adds, ”From a marketing point of view, many will embrace it and perhaps there’ll be some that wouldn’t.” He points out that Titanic II will be small by today’s standards, only carrying approximately 1600 passengers, but the replica could be very well embraced by a niche market.
While everyone may not agree with it, many will likely line up to take a ride on a piece of historical tribute.
More than 1,500 people died after the Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its first voyage. It was the world’s largest and most luxurious ocean liner at the time. Visit our 100th Anniversary post for a gallery of possible iceberg suspects.