Titanic II Is Preparing to Set Sail in 2022, and You Can Be On Board

Roderick Eime, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0
Roderick Eime, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Titanic is getting a sequel. No, James Cameron isn’t making another movie. A nearly identical replica of the doomed ship is scheduled to make its maiden voyage in 2022, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, giving superfans the chance to experience the journey for themselves.

Dubbed the Titanic II, the new ship will start out in China, where it's under construction now, traveling to Dubai before picking passengers up in Southampton, England and following the original vessel’s 1912 route across the Atlantic to New York City. Of course, the original R.M.S. Titanic never reached its destination. It struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic, and more than half of the ship’s 2200 passengers perished when it sank.

Although the modern ship’s design is modeled after the original, there are a few notable differences. It will hold slightly more passengers—2400 in total, plus a 900-person crew—and will be 13 feet wider to meet modern regulations (and increase stability). Plus, passengers can rest easy knowing that the newer version is equipped with modern safety and navigation features, as well as detailed evacuation plans.

The superstitious probably won't be snatching up tickets for a ride on the revived Titanic, but history buffs and fans of the movie will likely appreciate the ship’s vintage decor and attention to detail. The Titanic II will have the same cabin layout, public areas, swimming pool, Turkish baths, and grand staircase as the original ship. When construction is completed, there will be nine floors and 840 cabins, and passengers will have their pick of first, second, or third-class tickets.

The Titanic II is the brainchild of Australian businessman Clive Palmer, who established a shipping company called Blue Star Line in 2012 in order to make the project a reality. The ship is under construction now and is expected to cost $500 million. It was originally slated to set sail in 2016, but financial issues delayed the departure first until 2018, and again until 2022.

After completing its journey to New York, the Titanic II will “circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivaled attention, intrigue, and mystery in every port she visits,” Palmer tells MSN.

Tickets aren't on sale yet, but keep an eye on the Blue Star Line website for updates.

[h/t AJC]

This London Pub Might Be the Most Ethical Bar in the World

Ridofranz/Getty Images
Ridofranz/Getty Images

Pub owner Randy Rampersad is doing his part for sustainability. In June, he opened the Green Vic—a play on the fictional Queen Vic pub in the soap opera EastEnders—in the East London neighborhood of Shoreditch. The Telegraph reports it’s aiming to be the world’s most ethical pub: Rampersad eschews plastic and paper straws and opts for gluten-free wheat “straws.” He sources the bar's 100 percent recycled toilet paper from green-minded company Who Gives a Crap, and the communal wooden tables are upcycled.

“I wanted to make the world a better place and run my own business, but I was waiting for that eureka moment,” Rampersad told The Telegraph. He discovered no one had done anything like this before.

There’s no meat on the menu—the food is totally vegan, healthy-ish pub grub. You can add CBD oil to the “chkn" bites appetizer, and the burgers are made from ingredients like soy, seaweed, and sweet potato. The beers are produced by ethical brewers, too: Toast Ale uses unsold loaves and crusts of bread; Good Things Brewing crafts its beer from 100 percent renewable energy; South Africa’s Afro Vegan Cider donates money to an organization that funds equal pay for female farmers; and Brewgooder donates to water projects.

In fact, everything the Green Vic does has charity in mind. “We don't care about the money, I’m planet first and profit after,” Rampersad told The Telegraph. Up to 80 percent of its profits will go to charitable causes, including local food banks. As for the staff, one in four are from marginalized groups. The Green Vic plans to operate as a three-month pop-up pub while scouting for longer term investment.

The Cat Sanctuary That Sits Near the Ancient Roman Site Where Julius Caesar Was Murdered

ClaireLucia/iStock via Getty Images Plus
ClaireLucia/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Cats will sleep anywhere—even in ancient ruins. Located in Rome, Colonia Felina di Torre Argentina is a cat sanctuary on the site where conspirators stabbed Julius Caesar 22 times outside the Theatre of Pompey, on March 15 44 BCE. Centuries later, in 1929, Mussolini excavated the area to reveal four temples that are 20 feet below the street level. Today, it’s the oldest open-air spot in Rome.

Bystanders can view the temple complex known as Largo di Torre Argentina from the fenced-off street, but according to Conde Nast Traveler, after a $1.1 million restoration process, the sanctuary will open to tourists in the second half of 2021. For now, the only living things allowed in the sacred area (area sacra) are feral cats.

According to Colonia’s website, they are "the most famous cat sanctuary in Italy” and also the oldest in Rome. Many of the cats fall into the special needs category: Some are disabled, missing part of a paw, or are blind; the special needs and elderly cats live in a walled-off area. Volunteers—a.k.a. gattare, or cat ladies—take good care of them, and some cats are available for adoption.

Atlas Obscura reports that “since the mid-1990s, the population has grown from about 90 to a peak of 250” cats and notes that the sanctuary has a spay/neuter program. From the street, visitors can watch gatti like the three-legged Pioppo and Lladrò—known as “poisonous kitten” because of how angry he was when he got there—sunbathe and sleep under pillars.

It’s unclear if the cats are respecting Caesar or disrespecting the fallen leader. However, a gift shop is open to visitors, and people can donate money toward the cats and/or volunteer.

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