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An Australian millionaire commissioned the construction of a replica of the original ship that sank in 1912. The first trip would be between Dubai and Southampton.
The second part of the Titanic is rolled in some Chinese shipyards. But not the movie, but the ship. Clive Palmer is an Australian businessman and conservative politician, multi-millionaire – with mining businesses through his company Mineralogy – who set out to build a replica of the mythical ship , and announced that sometime during 2022 – when 110 years of the shipwreck are completed Most famous in history – the Titanic II will go to sea for its first voyage .
On April 14, 1912, the original version of the Titanic, which at that time was the largest and most luxurious passenger ship ever built, and that was considered impossible to sink, hit an iceberg and succumbed in the waters of the North Atlantic, only four days after having started its inaugural voyage in Southampton (United Kingdom) towards New York. It is estimated that about 1,500 people died.
Ads and memories
Since the most important maritime catastrophe in history is still very much alive, after Palmer’s announcement social networks were filled with humorous comments about lifeboats and icebergs. So one of the first things that Blue Star Line hastened to announce, the shipping company in charge of the construction and management of the Titanic II – in memory of the original White Star Line – is that the new ship will have all its own security measures of the 21st century. For example, it is ensured that -this time- there will be lifeboats for everyone, passengers and crew.
In addition, the steel plates that will form the hull will not be joined by rivets but welded. These two aspects were key in the tragedy of 1912. In any case, Palmer did not dare to assure that his ship will be unsinkable: “I think it would be very arrogant to say such a thing. The people who did it in the past have lived to regret it. Anything will sink if you make a hole, “he said in 2012.
The idea floated for the first time that year, coinciding with the centenary of the collapse. The ship had to be ready to sail in 2016. Later it was postponed until 2018, and in 2015 there was even talk that, perhaps, the project would end up in oblivion like the other twelve attempts to build a new version of the Titanic, that at one time or another have been made public.
In fact, Palmer’s project will have to compete with the one that tries to move forward a Chinese company in a lake in Sichuan province. The difference will be that the Chinese version will always remain anchored and will be part of a theme park.
If only three years ago the project was on the verge of sinking, it was because of the lawsuit that Mineralogy had with the Chinese conglomerate Citic, which Palmer’s company sued on the grounds that it had to pay hundreds of millions of Australian dollars in fees. exploitation of its mines in Australia. In 2017, an Australian Federal Court ruled in favour of Palmer and set a compensation in his favour, which has made the eccentric millionaire breathe and again have funds to recreate the Titanic. Anyway, last Tuesday it was learned that Citic has, in turn, sued Mineralogy, also in Australia, for obstructing its mining operations in this country. How they end these legal concerns seems to depend on the Titanic II is a reality or not.
How the ship will be
It is estimated that building it will be around 440 million euros. It may seem like a lot of money, even for a man who calculates a personal fortune of 2,500 million euros, but is less than half the 1,190 million euros that cost in 2016 the construction of the Symphony of the Seas, in the presently the largest cruise ship in the world, owned by the Royal Caribbean shipping company.
But it is that by today’s standards, in the age of the mega cruises, the Titanic is a modest 40,000-ton vessel.
Although with its 32.2 meters of the beam will be somewhat wider to provide more stability, the Titanic II will have the same length (269 meters), the same passenger capacity -distributed in 835 cabins- and crew than the original. It will have one more cover for a total of 10. It will be where the lifeboats, emergency slides and other evacuation systems will be, with replicas of the original 1912 boats. For its central part, which will be higher to house them, it will be increased the height of the ship in 1.3 meters. In addition, the lower deck, which housed the boilers, will be suppressed, since the propulsion of the ship, obviously, will not be with coal boilers, but with two diesel engines that will allow the ship to reach 23 knots (42.5 km / h).
The new ship will still have four chimneys, but only one will work as such. In the other three radars and other security systems will be installed, as well as viewpoints so that passengers can contemplate the anodyne immensity of the ocean.
And so far the differences. Palmer’s intention is that sailing on his boat is “an authentic Titanic experience, offering passengers a boat that has the same interiors and the same cabin design as the original – but with air conditioning -, integrating modern safety procedures and 21st-century technology to produce the highest levels of luxury comfort. ” The cabins will be distributed among the first, second and third class, and the ship will have the same rooms and everything with exactly the same decoration as the original.
The first planned route will not be between Southampton and New York, but between Dubai and Southampton. Nothing is known about the prices, but it is rumoured that in China someone offered 800,000 euros to get a ticket for the inaugural cruise.
After this first trip, the Titanic II will do exactly the same route as in 1912, but “it will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unparalleled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port you visit,” said Palmer.
Although the Blue Star Line has already announced the hiring of a Global director and a director for Europe of the project, there is some skepticism about the viability of the Titanic II.
The ship is being built in the Chinese shipyard CSC Jinling Shipyard, but as the name of the Titanic is associated with the concept of catastrophe, the fact that a Chinese shipyard has been chosen may not be the most reassuring.
“Made in China, right now, it seems to be a more embarrassing label than a cause for pride,” said an editorial in the Chinese newspaper Global Times. “Poor quality made ‘made in China’ a synonym for low value and cheap. China’s challenge is to carry out an impeccable construction that is admired by the world, “the newspaper concluded.
On the other hand, there is the fame that precedes Clive Palmer himself. The Australian built a dinosaur theme park in Coolum (Queensland), called Palmersaurus. The park closed, but while it was open 33% of TripAdvisor users who visited it rated it as lousy.
The movie “Titanic” (1997) starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio, also had the second part. It was filmed in 2010 and is a low-budget feature film within the catastrophe genre. The action takes place during the 100th anniversary of the sinking when a ship baptized Titanic II makes its maiden voyage, and in a dramatic turn of events, a tsunami is responsible for the cruise to collide with an iceberg and follow the same destination as the of 1912.