Update: Ticket sales and the launch for Blue Star Line's Titanic II have been pushed to 2018.
When billionaire Clive Palmer and his team at Blue Star Line were recreating the look, feel, and luxury of the original RMS Titanic, one thing they apparently do not need to replicate is demand.
Just like 1912, interest in Titanic II is growing ever higher as each subsequent month brings updates and developments that further move this project from dream to reality.
“The overwhelming response has been really good and that is shown across the world," James McDonald, global marketing director of Blue Star Line, told Arabian Business. "The continued media attention is exciting. There are some people who believe there are issues, [but] we have an advisory board which has relatives of passengers and we are keen to make sure we are paying respects to them and will hopefully do that by recreating this majestic ship."
Blue Star Line, which announced its plans to build Titanic II only weeks after the 100th anniversary of the original's sinking, has made significant strides this summer towards an expected construction start in China of later this year. These include the addition of Lloyd’s Register to review the design and safety features, Tillberg Design of Sweden to provide architectural and design services for the interior, and progress on the final plans and engineering designs.
According to the company, tickets are expected to go on sale in 2015 or early 2016, with launch set for later that year. Naturally, prices for the privledge of traveling on the maiden voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg to Ireland to New York are likely to be reflective of the ship's name.
“Around 40,000 people have enquired about tickets and half a dozen have offered more than a million dollars to make sure they get on the maiden voyage and this is before we have even started construction,” McDonald revealed. Adjusted for inflation, a first class ticket back in 1912 would have set you back $57,000 - with some of the suites going for over $100,000. A relative bargain to what some are willing to pay to take part in Titanic II's Atlantic crossing.
For those looking for a different, less-pricey angle to traveling aboard Titanic II, you could always apply to work on the ship. Now through 2015, Blue Star Line is accepting applications for all positions, including captain.
"Some of (the applicants) are cruise ship captains and some are super tanker captains," Palmer said in May. "But I would see one of the best jobs on Titanic II really as being the activities director because there are so many activities to do on the boat and there are so many different ideas going back in time. We’ll be having balls and arranging a whole lot of different things.
"The food and beverage director is also another great job because we've got 68 chefs who have already produced the Titanic II menus," he added. "The food in 1912 was of a totally different cooking style than today, so I suppose that's a great job for people on the ship."
For more on the Titanic II, check out our previous coverage below: