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Feb 27, 2013

Meet Titanic II: everything you need to know about Clive's ark

Clive Palmer's Titanic II will have a high-tech engine, air conditioning, a hospital, a helipad ... and more lifeboats. But you'll still be able to dine in early-20th century finery.

Titanic 2

It’s got a similar name, it will look the same, and its owner has declared it will be “sinkable”. But eccentric billionaire Clive Palmer’s Titanic II, under construction in China, will differ in one significant respect from the original: it will have many more lifeboats.

Last night, Palmer addressed journalists in New York to update them on his progress recreating the world’s most famous ship (the project was announced last year, 100 years after the doomed luxury passenger liner sank). It was quite the circus.

One can criticise Palmer’s endeavour as an unseemly attempt to cash in on one of the most iconic tragedies of the 20th century — 1502 people died — but it’s hard to deny (my) fascination with his grandiose plans.

Unlike the first Titanic, the ship has a high-tech engine, air conditioning, a hospital and a helipad. Here’s what you need to know about Palmer’s Titanic

  • The Titanic replica (ominously christened Titanic II — it’s considered bad luck to name a ship after one that has sunk) will make its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in late 2016. It’ll follow the same route as the Titanic, visiting Cobh in Ireland before it leaves the British Isles to steam across the Atlantic.
  • Titanic II’s guests will have the option of donning early 20th-century clothing, available at no extra charge in their room. They will also be offered the same 11-course menu as that offered to passengers during the Titanic’s 1912 voyage, prepared by 60 chefs.
  • In keeping with the Edwardian theme, there will be three passenger classes — they will not be allowed to mingle. However, passengers can opt to switch passenger class mid-way through the trip. This will require a costume change.
  • It’s being built at shipyard in China operated by CSC Jinling, and has been designed by Deltamarin, a Finnish company. The company that’ll run the Titanic II is called Blue Star Line, a play on White Star Line, who ran the original.
  • There’ll be enough lifeboats. The original titanic had 16 wooden lifeboats — enough for 1178 of its 2224 passengers and crew. Titanic II will carry 2435 passengers and another 900 crew. It’ll have lifeboats for 2700, and life rafts for an additional 800. “From a safety point of view, it will be absolutely the most safe cruise ship in the world when it is launched,” said Markku Kanerva, the sales director at Deltamarin.
  • Apparently 40,000 people have already registered to buy tickets for the maiden voyage, and some expressed interest in paying up to $1 million to do so.

Palmer isn’t displaying the hubris associated with the launch of the first Titanic. Asked if the ship was “sinkable”, Palmer responded it certainly was. “Anything will sink if you put a hole in it,” he said.

At least passengers don’t have to be scared of icebergs. “One of the benefits of global warming is there’s not as many icebergs in the North Atlantic,” Palmer said.

How much has it cost Palmer to build? He won’t say. “It’s not about the money… I’ve got enough money for it, I think that’s all that matters,” he said. According to BRW‘s annual rich list, Palmer is Australia’s eighth richest person, with a fortune of $3.85 billion.

Palmer is making a further announcement, with more details, on March 2 at The Ritz in London. We’ll keep you posted.

*This article was originally published at LeadingCompany

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26 comments

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26 thoughts on “Meet Titanic II: everything you need to know about Clive’s ark

  1. littlemaths

    So, it’s basically a chance for people to go high sea LARPing with Clive Palmer?

  2. wayne robinson

    Um… Doesn’t global warming mean there should be more, not fewer, icebergs in the North Atlantic, as more icebergs are called from the Greenland glaciers?

    I just hope that they have a good radar. Failing that, at least a pair of binoculars for the lookouts in the crows nest .

  3. wayne robinson

    Oops calved. Curse spellcheck.

  4. Matt Hardin

    The three classes smacks of Marie Antoinette’s playing at being a shepherdess. Unbelievable.

  5. Matt Hardin

    As for the stupid global warming quip, I thought Palmer didn’t beleive in it…

  6. Matt Hardin

    *”believe” not “beleive”

  7. zut alors

    It’s a tad disappointing there are only three classes of travel – I expected five, including Untouchables.

  8. mikehilliard

    yes zut! steerage anyone?

  9. John Hamer

    When is someone in the media going to question Palmer on the logistics of his Titanic replica. For example if he is building a replica based on a century-old design, where are the extra lifeboats and liferafts stored. Where are the additional 1,111 passengers and crew accommodated?Where does Palmer fit the air conditioning plant. And given the design of modern-day luxury cruise ships invariably incorporate balconies adjoining the majority of cabins, along with the provision of several swimming pools; how does Palmer plan to attract passengers from rival Cunard vessels. I would imagine the novelty of wearing fancy dress will wear off rather quickly. I say it’s another burst of Palmer hotair – similar to the much talked about float of his Minerealogy company. How about some more scrutiny from the media instead of accepting everything Palmer says as gospel! JH

  10. mikeb

    Will “Nearer My God To Thee” be on the band’s playlist?

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