Titanic II may sail as early as 2022. Yes, a full-sized replica of the original ship- RMS Titanic- is being worked on and seems to be gaining steam, no pun intended.
Australian businessman and politician Clive Palmer is the man behind the controversial project. The idea was floated in 2012 but halted over a dispute with the Chinese government in 2015. Palmer recently re-announced in September that the project will recommence and guess what, it’s expected to be the exact replica of the infamous 1912 one.
To avoid a repeat disaster, Titanic II will apparently be outfitted with plenty of lifeboats — and will have a welded, not riveted hull — plus modern navigation and radar equipment.
Dubai maiden voyage
‘The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivaled attention, intrigue, and mystery in every port she visits,’ said Palmer in a statement.
The maiden voyage, however, will take passengers from Dubai to New York, reports Cruise Arabia, with the first sailing scheduled to take place in 2022.
Other similarities with the old.
The ship will have 9 decks and house 835 cabins, which will accommodate 2,435 passengers. And like the original one, people will be able to book first, second and third class tickets.
It’ll be outfitted exactly like the original Titanic — including the grand staircase that plays a memorable role in James Cameron’s hit movie, the Titanic
China, in on the action
China seems to be building its own Titanic replica, according to news reports from 2016. The project is rumoured to cost an estimated 1 billion yuan, or $145 million. The idea is it’ll be permanently docked in a reservoir in the Qijang River.
What if you are too impatient to wait to sail on the Titanic? Well, you can tour the wreckage of the original Titanic undersea if you have the income to dispose of. American company Ocean Gate has scheduled diving trips for 2019, costing $105,129 per person.
The Bluefish, another company that describes itself as an ‘experiential concierge firm’ is also hoping to orchestrate Titanic trips for the 2019/20 period.
While some may shirk at the idea of visiting something that caused the death of 1,500 lives, Steve Sims, founder of The Bluefish, believes diving to the wreck is not inappropriate.
‘The people who tend to want to go are very respectful. And you can only do eight to nine civilians on a ship. So you’re not getting a bunch of giggling teenagers who are spending over $100,000 to go along and get selfies,’ he said.
Realistically, it’s unclear whether Titanic II will ever see the light of day — or whether the diving tours will happen next year.
But it’s clear, the ship continues to have the fancy of people even a century on.