Maritime history buffs travel around the planet to see and experience places where ships and the brave crews aboard may have helped to forge a new land and explore the unknown. The naval and passenger ships of yesteryear were an integral part of making the world we know today. Now, taking a step back to the past with an eye on the future, an Australian billionaire is honoring the legacy of Titanic, the ill-fated ocean liner that sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, in a bold new way.
Last year, the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of Titanic was honored at namesake attractions, museums and events around the world. Adding to the slew of memorials, Australian billionaire Professor Clive Palmer will build a nearly exact replica of Titanic.
“This magnificent vessel is to be constructed in memory of the heroic people who served on the ship, the passengers who sadly shared their fate and all those that survived the tragedy,” said Professor Palmer in a Daily Echo report.
To be built in China’s CSC Jinling Shipyard, Titanic II will enter passenger service in 2016 sailing from Southampton, England, to New York City on a route similar to that of the original Titanic – minus the iceberg.Carrying 2,436 passengers, new Titanic II will cast a profile nearly identical to the original at 883 feet long (less than a foot longer than the original), 106 feet wide and have a maximum speed of 24 knots. At 55,800 tons, the new ship will be just 8,000 tons larger but have some important features that the former “unsinkable” version did not. Steam engines will be replaced by diesel electric pop propulsion units and, unlike the original, there will be plenty of lifeboats for all on board.
Staying with the “ship of dreams” motif, Palmer promises his new Blue Star Line will produce a vessel every bit as luxurious as the original White Star Line ship, with some important additions.
“Through the rebuilding of the ship I want to recognize the artists and artisans whose skill, creativity and dexterity has never to this day been fully acknowledged because of the ship’s limited service,” said Palmer.
Honoring the original design, the ship will offer staterooms and public spaces that will be nearly identical to the original Titanic – right down to having no televisions. Palmer is undecided on if the ship will have Internet access available but is adding an additional deck, air conditioning and modern toilets.
Titanic II will also feature a 400-seat theater, casino, shopping, business center, modern medical center and helicopter-landing pad.
Those sailing the new Titanic will have to choose between classes of accommodations, much like the original, or a package that allows them to sample all three classes in one voyage.
Along with nearly duplicate features of the original ship, including Turkish baths and a squash court, Titanic II is set to sail her first voyage in 2016 from Shanghai, China, to Southampton, and then on to New York.
[Photo credit- Blue Star Line]