Despite news to the contrary, the plan to launch a full-size replica of the unfortunate RMS Titanic has not been sunk. The project is still being developed by Australian businessman and politician Clive Palmer, who has promised that the Titanic II will finally set sail in 2022, retracing its original route.
The venture, which had been proposed in 2012, had been stalled in 2015 following a financial disagreement with China. Now, the project is back on course. The new ship, which will be a carbon-copy of the original cruise liner, which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 tragically died.
The new liner will be equipped with an adequate number of lifeboats and will have a welded, rather than a riveted hull, as well as state-of-the-art navigation and radar technology.
"The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivaled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits," said Palmer in a statement.
Although futures trips will retrace the original route, the maiden voyage, though, will take passengers from Dubai, rather than Southampton to New York. The nine-decked ship will feature 835 cabins and accommodate 2,435 passengers, who can purchase first-, second- and third-class tickets as on the original voyage. The ship will also showcase the iconic grand staircase, which was featured prominently in the 1997 film.
It has been reported that China is also building a Titanic replica. The Chinese model, which will apparently be permanently docked in a reservoir in the Qijang River, is said to be budgeted at $145 million. Also, in the works are diving trips to view the wreck of the original Titanic.
The dives are being organized by The Bluefish, an American company, and have been scheduled for next year at a cost of $105,129 per person. Some have criticized the dives as inappropriate given the number of people who perished at the site.
Steve Sims, the founder of The Bluefish, said, "The people who tend to want to go are very respectful. And you can only do eight to nine civilians on a ship. So, you're not getting a bunch of giggling teenagers who are spending over $100,000 to go along and get selfies."