One of the world’s richest men has unveiled plans to build a replica of the Titanic.
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, who already owns a luxury holiday resort and is reportedly Australia’s fifth-richest person, expects the vessel — named Titanic II — to make its maiden voyage in 2016, sailing from Britain to New York.
“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 described the project as “a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic.”
More than 1,500 people died when the original Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912.
This year’s 100th anniversary has seen dozens of events to remember those who perished, including the opening of a new visitor centre in Belfast and the sailing of a memorial cruise on Fred Olsen’s Balmoral.
Palmer said he has commissioned the state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the replica, as well as three other luxury cruise ships. He added that he is working with a team of historical researchers to ensure the ship’s design is as close as possible to the original.
The diesel-powered vessel will have four funnels, although they will be purely decorative. There will be 840 cabins, nine decks and it will measure 270 metres long and 53 metres high.
“Titanic II will be the ultimate in comfort and luxury with on-board gymnasiums and swimming pools, libraries, high-class restaurants and luxury cabins,” added Palmer.
Changes will be made below the waterline, however.
It will use welding and not riveting, and will have a more fuel-efficient design and an enlarged rudder for greater manoeuvrability. Construction is due to begin next year.