Australian to build '21st century Titanic'
Some 40,000 people have inquired about booking tickets for the maiden journey of the Titanic II, which will be built in Jiangsu in China before 2016.
An Australian mining magnate today unveiled plans in London to build ?a 21st Century version? of the Titanic, complete with all of the style and comfort of 100 years ago, but with enough lifeboats and satellite navigation.
Unlike the original however, it will not be built at the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, but will instead be constructed in Jiangsu in China in a dockyard which holds a Guinness Book of Records title for launching heavy ships.
?Titanic was a ship of dreams and Titanic II promises to be the ship where dreams come true,? Professor Clive Palmer, who made his fortune from coal and iron-ore mines, told reporters in the Ritz Hotel.
Titanic II will be finished by late 2016, he vowed, and 40,000 people have already inquired about booking first, second and steerage-class tickets for its first journey from Southampton to New York.
?Imagine the reception it will get,? he told The Irish Times.
Sixteen people have offered to pay $1 million each for a state-room of their choice on board Titanic II on its maiden journey, though those so far those offers have been declined, said Prof. Palmer, who rejected doubters? scepticism today.
?I have enough money to build the Titanic ten times over. I don?t need anyone?s help; I don?t need to raise money. This project is about peace and love and bringing the people of the world closer together,? he declared.
Titanic II will be four metres wider than the original, thus giving it more stability, along with being equipped with stabilisers and reverse-facing propellers ?which will get rid of the shuddering that you usually get in ships?, he went on.
Tonight, hundreds will gather in London to celebrate the launch of the project ? including a bevy of former prime ministers, including former Taoiseach John Bruton ? though film-maker, James Cameron ?declined to come?, noted the Australian businessman.
The guests, hosted in London?s National History Museum, will dine on the ?same 11 course dinner as first-class passengers on RMS Titanic?, which sank on April 12th, 1912 with the deaths of 1,500 passengers and crew.
He rejected charges levelled by some in Southampton ? which lost 550 people in the disaster ? that building a copy of the doomed ship is in poor taste, saying ?the heroism, courage and self-sacrifice? of those lost should be honoured.