April 30, 2012: Barry Cauchon
Hi all: I just came across this interesting article from The Associated Press on Titanic. In short, the man (Clive Palmer) wants to recreate the Titanic as an actual working luxury cruise ship with all the lavish trimmings for a niche cruise ship market. With the fascination about Titanic, his venture just might work! However, like any venture associated with a disaster like the Titanic, one has to remember that over 1500 people lost their lives on the original ship and countless others suffered for the rest of their lives from their losses.
As always, I do not use my blog for my own personal soap box but I am always fascinated with your comments on the subject. So tell me what you think and I’ll be happy to post your thoughts. Debate is good but don’t make it personal and we’ll see what people have to say.
High-tech, full-size version of ship to be ready for 2016 maiden voyage
The Associated Press
Posted: Apr 30, 2012 7:08 AM ET
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2012 7:21 AM ET
An Australian billionaire said Monday he’ll build a high-tech replica of the Titanic at a Chinese shipyard and its maiden voyage in late 2016 will be from England to New York, just like its namesake planned.
Weeks after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original Titanic, Clive Palmer announced Monday he has signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the Titanic II.
“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 called the project “a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic.”
More than 1,500 people died after the Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its first voyage. It was the world’s largest and most luxurious ocean liner at the time.
Real estate, coal mining
Palmer built a fortune on real estate on Australia’s Gold Coast tourist strip before becoming a coal mining magnate. BRW magazine reported he was Australia’s fifth-richest person last year with more than 5 billion Australian dollars ($5.2 billion).
Palmer said at a news conference that previous attempts to build a Titanic replica failed because proponents failed to raise enough money and commission a shipyard. The Titanic II is the first of four luxury cruise ships Palmer has commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard to build.
Palmer did not provide a cost estimate. He said he had established a new shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty. Ltd., and that design work for the Titanic II has begun with assistance from a historical research team.
The diesel-powered ship will have four smoke stacks like the coal-powered original, but they will be purely decorative.
The most obvious changes from the original Titanic would be below the water line, including welding rather than rivets, a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency and enlarged rudder and bow thrusters for increased manoeuvrability, Palmer said.
‘Many will embrace it’
Brett Jardine, general manager for Australia and New Zealand in the industry group International Cruise Council, said Titanic II would be small by modern standards but could prove viable at the top end of the luxury market.
“From a marketing point of view, many will embrace it, and perhaps there’ll be some that wouldn’t,” Jardine said.
“If you’ve got a niche, it’s going to work. Why go out there and try to compete with the mass market products that are out there now?” he added.
While the Titanic II would carry around 1,680 passengers, most modern cruise ships create economies of scale by catering for more than 2,000 passengers, he said.
Among the world’s largest passenger ships, Allure of the Seas is 90 metres longer than the 270-meter Titanic and has 2,700 cabins.
© The Associated Press, 2012