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Whenever one mentions the Titanic, people have various reactions, ranging from visions of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet on the set of a romantic movie, to the disastrous sinking of the actual ship more than 100 years ago, claiming 1,503 lives. Australian billionaire Clive Palmer claims that people will once again have an opportunity to experience the Edwardian opulence of the original ship, and he is heading an effort to create the Titanic II, a nearly exact replica of the ill-fated and illustrious Titanic.

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According to news reports, the Titanic II ship is the first major passenger cruise ship to be built in China, a fact which might explain why the original launch date has been delayed from 2016 to 2018. According to reports, the ship is currently scheduled to take its maiden voyage from Jiangsu, China, to Dubai.  It will reportedly set sail under the Blue Star Line, headquartered in Brisbane, Australia.   

Mr. Palmer first announced his intention to create the Titanic II nearly four years ago.  The design for the ship was unveiled in Macau in 2013. Some may view creating a replica of a ship that sank and lost 1,503 passengers at sea as being in poor taste or ghoulish; others are literally standing in line to buy a ticket.  Even though ticket prices have yet to be announced, reports are that people are offering as high as $1 million dollars per ticket to sail on the maiden voyage.   

This is not the first time a proposal for a functioning replica of the original Titanic has been announced. Following the release of the film Titanic in 1997, Sarel Gous, a South African businessman, began exploring the creation of a replica vessel. However, after various failed attempts, he was unable to obtain the appropriate financing and the project was abandoned.

PROPOSED DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL TITANIC AND TITANIC II

The interior of the new Titanic is designed and intended to look close to identical to the original. However, subtle changes, such a substitute for the original wooden paneling found in the hallways, which would potentially pose a fire hazard, have been implemented. The paneling now is finished with modern, flame-resistant veneers.

There are significant differences between the original Titanic and the Titanic II both in construction and purpose.  For example, the original Titanic was a cargo ship as well as a passenger cruise ship; the Titanic II will be exclusively a passenger cruise ship.  The Titanic II will also be safer as it is constructed using welds instead of rivets. It will include stabilizer wings to reduce the ship’s rolling, and it will be more fuel efficient as it will be diesel-electric-powered as opposed to the original propulsion system, which was coal-fired steam engines.

The replica will also be much safer because this new ship will be equipped with the appropriate number of lifeboats and state-of-the-art emergency marine evacuation systems.  The Titanic II will stand 173 feet tall and be 900 feet long, weighing approximately 40-thousand tons.

In spite of all the media hype surrounding the Titanic II, as a maritime accident lawyer in Miami, who helps passengers who have been injured on cruise ships, I have serious doubts that Mr. Palmer’s dream will ever become a reality. First of all, the official Blue Star website has not been updated this year, and the site’s content contains no new content other than a single video added to its Facebook page.  Given the significant resources of other cruise lines–like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian–I am not sure how Mr. Palmer will be able to compete for top-of-the-line crew as well as passengers’ dollars.   

Anyone considering cruising on the Titanic II–should it ever be built–would have to be willing to forego many of the modern attractions found on other new mega cruise ships, such as ice skating rinks, water slides, and a huge selection of restaurants, pools, bars, and spas. Sometimes leaving the past behind is better than dredging it up for the future.  

What do you think about taking a cruise on the Titanic II? Leave us a comment below. 

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