Oz Tycoon floats Titanic II dream

Feb 28, 2013, 04:36 IST | Agencies

Mining billionaire to make exact copy of doomed ocean liner, which will make its first voyage across the Atlantic in 2016

An Australian multi-millionaire has unveiled blueprints for the Titanic II — a modern replica of the world’s most famous ocean liner —, which he plans to build and sail across the Atlantic just like its namesake attempted to.

Setting sail: A computer-rendered image of the exterior of Titanic II, due to launch in 2016.

The ship, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the original, with the only upgrades being air-conditioning, a hospital and a helipad, is scheduled to make its first voyage, naturally from Southampton to New York, in late 2016.

Clive Palmer, the man behind the idea. Pics/AFP, Blue Star Line

Clive Palmer, the mining entrepreneur behind the project, suggested that there would be no television or Internet. And he said that passengers will find early 20th century-style clothing in their room should they wish to dress up and pretend they are aboard the original ship.

Just like in 1912, there will be three passenger classes who will not be allowed to mingle. Even the gym and the swimming pool are near identical to those on the 1912 ship, despite much more modern alternatives being available.

One crucial upgrade is the number of lifeboats. The original Titanic, carrying 2,224 passengers and crew, was sunk after hitting an iceberg during its maiden voyage on April 15 1912. It had 16 wooden lifeboats, which accommodated just 1,178 people — a third of the total capacity. Some 1,502 people died during the tragedy.

The new ship will be able to carry 2,435 passengers and 900 crew. Crucially it will have lifeboats that can carry 2,700 and a life rafts with an additional capacity of 800.

Palmer, who was estimated to be worth $795 million by Forbes in 2012 but describes himself as a billionaire, refused to say how much the venture would cost.

Markku Kanerva, the sales director at Deltamarin, the Finnish company designing the ship, has said he can assure that from the safety point of view, it will be absolutely the most safe cruise ship in the world when it is launched.

Markku Kanerva, said, “I can assure you, from the safety point of view, it will be absolutely the most safe cruise ship in the world when it is launched,” he said. Palmer said 40,000 people have expressed interest in tickets for the maiden voyage, taking the original course from Southampton, England, to New York.

He said people are inspired by his quest to replicate one of the most famous vessels in history.

2,224 The number of passengers on the original Titanic
1,502 The number of people that died on the Titanic

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