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Over a century after the original Titanic sank to the ocean floor, an Australian billionaire says his plans to recreate the most famous cruise ship of all time are back on track. But is this much-delayed project finally moving toward becoming a reality… or simply a billionaire’s pipe dream?
Ship Of Dreams… Or Ship Of Fools?
Clive Palmer, the Australian billionaire who is the head of Blue Star Line, announced this week that construction on Titanic II had commenced again. If this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been reporting on Palmer’s project since first he began trumpeting the news back in 2012. At that time, he created the Blue Star Line with one and only one goal: to recreate the RMS Titanic.
But by 2015, the project had run aground thanks to a lawsuit regarding royalties owed to Blue Star’s parent company, Mineralogy. But with that lawsuit now resolved, Palmer says the dream lives again.
“In 1912, the Titanic was the ship of dreams,” he said in a press release. “For over a century, Titanic’s legend has been powered by mystery, intrigue and respect for all she stood for. Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty. Titanic II will be the ship where those dreams come true!”
Details About The Ship
From the start, Palmer arranged for numerous Titanic experts to be a part of the project. And while the two ships will be similar in many regards, there will be several substantial differences. Among them:
- The Titanic II will be several inches wider, for greater stability. She is expected to 883 feet long by 106 feet wide.
- The hull will be welded as opposed to riveted.
- A “safety deck” will be added, which will house replicas of the original lifeboats.
- Observation decks are set to be placed inside the two front smokestacks, which will have been rendered otherwise redundant and unnecessary.
Of course, gone will be the coal engines which propelled the original ship, but it is with the interior spaces that the Titanic II will most closely resemble the original. “Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience,” said Palmer, “providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layouts as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st-century technology to produce the highest level of luxurious comfort.”
Among those recreated interiors are the famous Grand Staircase and, if the video offering a glimpse into the proposed areas of the ship is to be believed, separate dining rooms divided by class, with the one devoted to third-class passengers looking like a mess hall while the first class dining room resembles something out of Downton Abby. The ship is expected to carry 2,435 passengers (just like the original) in three “classes” of staterooms.
Read More: 11 Titanic Facts You Didn’t Know
Blue Line says that the ship will “follow the original journey [of the Titanic], carrying passengers from Southampton to New York” but will also do other routes which will take it around the globe “attracting unrivaled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits.”
There is as of yet no word on the timetable for the ship’s construction, with the official FAQ saying only that “ticketing information, including the date of the maiden voyage and ticket prices will, when released, be made available on this website.”