A plan to build a life-size replica of the Titanic and sail her across the Atlantic–from one side to the other hopefully–was launched in New York yesterday. The man behind it, Australian mining tycoon Clive Palmer, expects Titanic II to be ready for her maiden voyage by 2016 and will have a crew of 900 people looking after its 2,435 passengers.
With four funnels and three classes of passenger travel, Titanic II will have some luxuries that were not available on Titanic I–a state-of-the-art hospital, a helicopter pad, and Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. (Hopefully the Titanic II won’t have one thing that its predecessor did–an encounter with a large, unfriendly iceberg.)
The boat is being built in China’s Jinling shipyard, just outside Nanjing, and its designer, Markku Kanerva, said it will be “absolutely the most safe cruise ship in the world when it is launched.” Her predecessor’s fate, however, does not seem to have affected demand, with 40,000 applications to take part in Titanic II’s Atlantic crossing.
Palmer, who first announced the plan back in April 2012, the centenary of the ship’s demise, says that he will travel steerage on the trip, because that’s where the fun people will be. He helpfully pointed out that, with fewer icebergs in the North Atlantic, there is probably less chance of a collision. “Anything will sink if you put a hole in it,” he said.
Would you travel on Titanic II, or are you saving your money to see, um, Celine Dion live in Vegas? Tell us what you think in the first-class cabin that is our comments section.