It’s been nearly 104 years since the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the Atlantic, meeting a tragic end on its maiden voyage and claiming more than 1500 lives. The story has since captivated the world, helped along by a little film adaptation in 1997 starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Among those who remain fascinated by the tale is Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, who is building a replica of the ill-fated ship called Titanic II. It was recently announced that the ship will set sail in 2018, two years later than planned.
Blue Star Line’s recreation will look just like the original liner, but will be four meters wider to meet 21st century maritime safety regulations, and will feature a hull that is welded instead of riveted. It will also meet modern safety regulations, including equipment like life jackets, a certain quota of lifeboats, and of course, updated technology.
"The new Titanic will of course have modern evacuation procedures, satellite controls, digital navigation and radar systems and all those things you'd expect on a 21st century ship," James McDonald, the global marketing director of Palmer's Blue Star Line, told the Belfast Telegraph.
The ship will be 270 meters long, 53 meters high, and weigh 40,000 tons. It will contain nine floors, with 840 cabins to accommodate 2400 passengers and 900 crew members. Travelers can visit Turkish baths, a swimming pool, gyms, and spaces modeled after the original restaurants and dining rooms. The replica will also stay loyal to history with its ticket classifications: first-, second-, and third-class tickets will be offered.
Titanic II will, however, differ from history in its route, traveling from Jiangsu, China, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Blue Star Line has reportedly been fostering business partnerships.
If the idea of the replica rubs you the wrong way, you’re not alone. Relatives of some of the Titanic’s lost passengers have spoken out against the project. On the flip side, Blue Star Line has reportedly received a bevy of inquiries from interested parties, and offers as high as £640,000 (about $925,600) for a ticket. We'll assume that gets you a first class ride.