Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Plans for Titanic II Announced Yesterday

Yesterday billionaire Clive Palmer, entrepreneur and owner of an Australian mining company, announced his plans to build Titanic II.  The ship, which will begin carrying passengers in the third quarter of 2016, will be a full-scale modern recreation of the original, doomed oceanliner.

Titanic I was deemed the ‘unsinkable’ ship and at the time she was built, was the largest and most impressive vessel ever made.  On her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City in 1912, the ship hit an iceberg in the north Atlantic and sank- taking the lives of more than 1,500 passengers.

Palmer said he is not superstitious and does not feel he is tempting fate by recreating a ship best known for sinking.  He did, however, stop short of calling the ship unsinkable, saying “Anything will sink if you put a hole in it.” 

Computer rendering of the planned Titanic replica, Titanic II
Palmer will honor many of the traditional elements of the original ship to bring an “authentic Titanic experience” to her passengers.  Although the ship will integrate modern safety procedures (including enough lifeboats for everyone onboard!), navigation methods and some 21st century technology, the Titanic II follow the original cabin layout and décor.  Modern upgrades include air conditioning but do not include TVs or internet service.  The ship will also include the three passenger classes which will be prevents from mingling like in 1912.

Palmer claims he has received an overwhelming response from prospective passengers who want to travel on Titanic II. He predicted that it "will be a real financial bonanza" so successful that he will "have to build Titanic III."

The announcement of the Titanic II has sparked some debate as to whether this business model can succeed in today’s era.  Many believe the ship will not attract many passengers after the initial hype is dies down.  The boat is essentially a floating hotel room, unlike other cruises which have various destinations along the route for passengers to experience cities they may otherwise never see. 

According to J. Joseph Edgette, Titanic expert and professor at Widener University in Chester, PA, the name is “a little tacky,” citing a maritime tradition of not naming a ship after one lost at sea.  Bill Matsen, author of Titanic’s Last Secrets, says: “There were a lot of people who died on the Titanic.  That’s what gets lost on this.”

Computer rendering of ship's staircase

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