‘Jack! I’m flying!’ Almost, Rose, almost. 106 years later after the original and ill-fated ‘unsinkable’ cruise ship sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, a new version of the RMS Titanic is set to sail the seas in 2018.
Aussie billionaire Clive Palmer and his shipping company Blue Star Line came up with the idea for the Titanic II (it really sounds like a bad sequel to James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster) back in 2012. Originally, Palmer wanted the ship to launch transatlantic routes the same year (to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful voyage) but the date was pushed back due to a series of annoying delays. What is most shocking about the whole concept is that Palmer has not even seen the movie!
So, what can you expect? The new boat will be a fully functioning replica of the original – with more lifeboats (enough for every class of passenger), along with very modern marine evacuation systems. For die-hard Titanic fans, the ship will also house replicas of the original lifeboats.
Titanic II will also be four meters wider than the original and will also feature a welded hull (courtesy of modern safety requirements) so you won’t have to worry about those naughty icebergs. Blue Star Line and the German hydrodynamic consulting group, Hamburg Ship Model Basin, have been busy carrying out all sorts of safety tests – they refuse to say it’s unsinkable – but they admit that the new ocean liner is completely seaworthy and up to scratch with all modern safety standards: “The new Titanic will, of course, have modern evacuation procedures, satellite controls, digital navigation, and radar systems and all those things you’d expect on a 21st century ship,” said James McDonald, the marketing director of Blue Star Line told the Belfast Telegraph.
Like the original, built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Titanic II will offer first, second and third class cabins and dining rooms, a grand staircase (GASPS!), smoking room, Café Parisian and Marconi Room. In addition, if you are a millennial, sad news, you will not find a single television on board. It is a replica after all.
Here come the numbers. Titanic II will have 840 cabins and carry 2,435 passengers and 900 crew. Estimates of the cost range from £300m to £400m. The costs of tickets are yet to be announced, but some eager passengers have already expressed that they are willing to pay $1,000,000! They can pay for ours too.