The media’s love affair with a century-old sunken ship
has been topped with news out of Australia, where billionaire
mining-tycoon Clive Palmer announced plans to honor history’s most
famous iceberg victim.
The Titanic II is not the upcoming sequel to James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster, released by 20th Century Fox
). It’s a life-sized replica of the 1912 cruise liner set to sail in 2016. The Sydney Morning Herald reports
Mr. Palmer’s new company Blue Star Line Pty Ltd has commissioned the
state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to construct the
vessel. Designs are intended to be as close to the original as possible,
without sacrificing state-of-the-art engineering.
"It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology
and the latest navigation and safety systems,” Mr. Palmer explains.
“The Titanic II will be the ultimate in comfort and luxury with on-board
gymnasiums and swimming pools, libraries, high class restaurants and
Mr. Palmer cites the ingenuity and dedication required to construct the
first Titanic -- the world’s largest liner at the time -- as inspiration
for his current venture.
"These people produced work that is still marveled at more than 100
years later and we want that spirit to go on for another 100 years”
Mr. Palmer, who was recently inducted as a National Living Treasure of Australia
simultaneously announced his plans to run for federal office in the
country’s upcoming elections. This has led many to criticize the Titanic
II as a very expensive publicity stunt. When probed for the exact price
of project, a spokesman for Mr. Palmer doubted a final budget would
ever be revealed.
Unable to contain themselves, reporters just had to ask if there was any
possibility the Titanic II could meet its predecessor’s unfortunate
fate. Mr. Palmer replied, "Of course it will sink if you put a hole in
However, he added, “It is going to be designed so it won’t sink.”