A shipyard in China and an entrepreneur in Australia are poised to sign a deal to construct a full-size working replica of the legendary doomed ship Titanic. However, this time around, the ship Titanic II will include advanced technologies.
The Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing has already signed an initial agreement to build the ship with billionaire mining tycoon Clive Palmer, owner of the Blue Star Line Pty Ltd cruise line. The cost of the project has not been revealed.
Titanic II is to be completed by 2016. Afterwards, the ship is to sail to the UK and be prepared for her maiden voyage later that year from Southampton to New York – the route Titanic sailed on its fateful voyage in 1912.
A consortium of companies is to undertake design work for Titanic II, which will reportedly resemble to the original Titanic. Titanic II will be 270 metres long and 53 metres high, with nine floors and 840 rooms. It will accommodate 2,400 passengers and 900 crew members.
“The liner will be equipped with advanced technologies, including the latest life-saving and communications systems to meet the requirements of modern navigation,” Jinling Shipyard spokesman Li Wenbao told the China Daily newspaper.
Last year, when plans for Titanic II were first revealed, Palmer addressed concerns about this ship sinking.
“Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it, but it’s not going to be designed with a hole,” Xinhua news agency reported Palmer as having said.
“It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
Blue Star Line’s global marketing director James McDonald told Xinhua that the company has already received inquiries from potential Titanic II passengers, with some offering up to US$1m for a chance to sail on its maiden voyage.
Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912, claiming more than 1,500 lives. The ship had only 20 lifeboats for some 2,200 passengers and crew.
A rendering of Titanic II. Image via Blue Star Line