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Big-dreaming Clive Palmer, an Australian billionaire, businessman and former politician, is spearheading a project to faithfully recreate almost every facet of infamously doomed cruise ship, Titanic. It’ll be called Titanic II. We’re not kidding.
The $700 million endeavour will see the “Unsinkable” liner replicated in excruciating detail – the original floor plan will be used for the build, and an exact same number of crew and passengers will be on board (well, that’s the plan). Small changes, such as the correct number of lifeboats and a welded rather than riveted hull, will be made to ensure that modern safety protocols are in place should anything go wrong. Which, given the amount of fate being tempted by this team of absolute mavericks, is pretty much expected at this point.
Much will be the same – including three classes of tickets and the glamorous 1910s-style menus – Palmer and his company, Blue Star Line (we’re not making this up), have already headed off the dropped jaws in a statement.
"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," Palmer said.
According to US news outlet CNN, Palmer and Blue Star Line first floated the gambit in 2012, but after personal problems related to his finances the project was temporarily nixed. Now the scheme is back on track, and will reportedly launch in Dubai in 2022, which is the 110th anniversary of the Titanic proper’s launch, following the original route to New York City… via Singapore. After the maiden voyage, which will no doubt be immensely successful and not at all cursed, weekly trips from the UK to the USA are planned for summer months. At other times of the year, global expeditions will take place.
To lure potential customers aboard, Palmer, Blue Star Line and Cruise Arabia – which will run the actual trips – have shared a CGI clip of what the innards of Titanic II will be like.
Unlike the original Titanic, the replica won’t have Belfast beginnings – it’s being built in China. As well as nine decks and 840 cabins, it will be constructed with similar entertainment options and old-world elegance. Instead of coal-powered engines, Titanic II will be fuelled by diesel – though the iconic smokestacks will feature.
"In 1912 the Titanic was the ship of dreams," Palmer explained. "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 ll will be the ship where those dreams come true."
In another bizarre and bewildering twist to the story, Palmer has appointed his fugitive nephew as the Titanic II’s director. His name? Clive Mensink.
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