Since the original tragically sank over 100 years ago, plans have been made and ultimately shelved to re-create the legend that was the RMS Titanic. Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is the latest to undertake the task - and if everything goes according to plan, more than one replica of the ill-fated ocean liner may be built within the next decade.
Palmer, with an estimated fortune of more than $5 billion, made the announcement of the Titanic II back in April, only weeks after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
"It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but ... will have state-of-the-art 21st century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," Palmer said in a statement. He deemed the project "a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic."
In a new interview with the BBC, the 58-year-old says the new replica will be "98% the same" of the original. "The only difference will be an extra deck, to give the bridge greater visibility over the bow, which the original didn't have - very much to its cost," he added
Safety being the paramount concern with a name like Titanic, Palmer insists that there will be plenty of lifeboats; all of modern design and able to survive "in an open ocean with their hooded canopies and navigation equipment." This ship, estimated to cost at least $500M, will also feature historical reminders of the original. One such example is the cabins.
"In each one, there'll be a photo of the person who sailed in that cabin on the Titanic," Palmer tells the BBC. "It also tells you whether they lived or died."
While skeptics over the Titanic II won't be silenced until the Chinese shipyards Palmer has contracted with actually start construction, the businessman is already thinking about expanding his plans. He tells the BBC that should the Titanic II be the success he's hoping upon its launch in 2016, a Titanic III and IV may be built.
According to Palmer, more than 45,000 people have signed up on the Blue Star Line website expressing interest in the project and future bookings. Ticket details have yet to be released.
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