|Titanic II built in China: will it last or fade.|
|Posted on Sat 05 May 2012 (23112 reads)|
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has confirmed that he is to build a replica of the Titanic and that it will make its maiden voyage from England to New York sometime in 2016.
The first hint came on 18th April when a new company, Blue Star Line was registered as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Palmer’s Mineralogy Pty with Palmer and one other listed as the sole directors. Days later at a press conference, he confirmed that he had an ‘understanding’ with Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the Titanic II
Like it’s namesake the Ship will be just less than 270 meters long (about 880 feet) and 53 meters high, small by today’s standards but Palmer claims that it will be
“Every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, it will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems. It will be the ultimate in comfort and luxury with on-board gymnasiums and swimming pools, libraries, high class restaurants and luxury cabins," Needless to say there will be enough lifeboats for all.
Great pains will be taken to maintain historical accuracy. It will have 840 rooms and 11 decks but will be powered by diesel not coal -this time round, all four smoke stacks will just be for show- and the space previously required for the original ships boilers with contain a museum. Other questions as to its historical accuracy remain to be answered; will there for example be a series of austere steerage cabins?
But for the superstitious the whole project must sound a little too much like tempting fate.
"Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it." Palmer told reporters: “You never know what could happen."
Titanic enthusiasts are likely to be split by the decision. Whilst for many the idea of walking the decks of a Titanic replica is a thrilling one, others feel that the memory of the ship will be
“People forget sometimes why the Ship is so famous; the story of Titanic is one of loss. I’m not sure this is how to best honour its memory,” said one anonymous tweeter.
Palmer however sees it as a tribute to the men and women who built the original ship. "These people produced work that is still marvelled at more than 100 years later and we want that spirit to go on for another 100 years," he said.
‘Darwin Street’ writing in the Independent tended to agree.
“I don't see this as an ego trip. I think Palmer is a hard nut business man; he wants to do this to sell tickets and make money. Yes there was a terrible loss of life on the Titanic, but perhaps Titanic II could contain some very fitting tributes to those folk.”
Though some have speculated that the announcement is a publicity stunt, one that coincides with Palmer’s intention to stand for election to Australia’s Federal parliament if so, it’s an expensive one; cruise ships generally cost around £500 million to construct and even for Australia’s fifth richest man whose personal wealth is estimated to be £3.2 billion, that’s a chunk of change.
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