In an era full of remakes, remasters, and nostalgia trips, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer announced that a replica ocean liner of the RMS Titanic, faithfully named the Titanic II, is expected to set sail in 2022.
The Titanic II was first announced in 2012 by Palmer, a businessman and chairman of Blue Star Line, but the building of the ship had been delayed due to money troubles and conflicts with the Chinese government, leading them to halt its production.
Development also stirred up controversy after it was revealed that another replica of the Titanic was being built as part of a tourist resort in China and would have a simulation of the ship hitting an iceberg as part of the tour. Developers withdrew this plan after it had received backlash.
In a statement, Palmer said “Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience, providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layout as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st-century technology to produce the highest level of luxurious comfort.”
The entire ship will be nearly identical to the fabled ship that sank in 1912, including the grand staircase which was a pivotal set piece in James Cameron’s Titanic. The ship will be able to carry about 2,400 passengers and 900 crew members Aspiring voyagers of the ship will be able to buy first, second and third-class tickets similar to the original ship. Reports also say that passengers will also be given period costumes that replicate the style of the first voyage.
“Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty,” Palmer said. “Titanic ll will be the ship where those dreams come true.”
The first Titanic is famous for being one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history, claiming the lives of over 1,500 passengers and crew members. The cause of its sinking is cited as moving much too fast despite several warnings of sea ice in the waters. Due to complications in communication and the hazy weather, the Titanic was only able to avoid a head-on collision while the infamous iceberg scraped alongside the hull of the ship for about seven seconds. Because the ship was riveted rather than welded, many rivets popped open and broke along the scrape, which allowed water to rush in.
As water flooded the ship and it had begun to sink, many passengers thought the announcements to abandon ship were jokes, and began to play with the chunks of ice that had been thrown onto the ship. Due to the White Star Line, the company that built the Titanic, wanting there to be an uncluttered and uninterrupted view over the sides of the ship, they equipped the ship with only 20 lifeboats, which would only be able to accommodate less than half of the total amount of passengers and crew members on board. Chaos spread across the ship.
While the sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic remains a famous tale of hubris to this day, Blue Star Line is taking appropriate measures to ensure that history does not repeat itself. The Titanic II will have its hull welded instead of riveted, and the ship will be equipped with more than enough lifeboats should disaster strike again. The ship will also be fitted with modern radar and detection equipment to avoid the possibility of another iceberg strike.
While Palmer and Blue Star Line have announced that the Titanic II will make its maiden voyage in 2022, building has not commenced yet. If completed in time, the ship will first travel from Dubai to Southampton, then it will sail from there to New York, following the same path that its predecessor intended before it sank.