A century after the original sank, an Australian billionaire plans to build a 21st century version of the Titanic.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 30)(NINE NETWORK) -Australian mining and tourism billionaire Clive Palmer announced plans on Monday (April 30) to build a 21st century version of the Titanic with a Chinese state-owned company, more than 100 years after the original sank with the loss of 1,500 lives.
The luxury liner, described as 'every bit as luxurious as the original,' is expected to make its maiden voyage from England to North America, the old Titanic route, late in 2016.
Palmer said his new shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty Ltd, had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese state-owned company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the Titanic II.
"We think it will be a great achievement, it'll also be a great tribute to the people who designed the original Titanic. It was certainly their intention that their work and the skills and their endeavours survived into the future and we think we've got a vested interest in ensuring that it survives into the next century," Palmer said.
The new Titanic would add to Palmer's tourism portfolio which includes golf and spa resorts in the state of Queensland.
Most of Palmer's wealth comes from real estate and coal mining in Queensland.
The original Titanic, the largest liner in world when it was launched, sank after hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912.
A Titanic historian at Australia's National Maritime Museum, Inger Sheil, said the connection with the original would not put people off sailing on her.
"Well curiously, in spite of the name I think there will be quite a few people who will wish to travel on it because of the Titanic connection. When the James Cameron movie came out in 1997 there was an upswing in interest in cruising among the general public because of the Titanic movie. What I'd be interested in is the longevity of that interest, you know, would it sustain itself after that initial curiosity and novelty factor has worn off?," said Sheil.
The design work has started for the new Titanic, which will have the same dimension as its old version with 840 rooms and nine decks.