Titanic II: What does the 'upgraded' replica of the iconic ship offer?

Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer is all set to build Titanic II, around a decade after he had announced the project. Photo: Special Arrangement

The British ocean liner Titanic, which was hailed as unsinkable, was one of the most ill-fated ships in the history of sailing. The largest and most luxurious ship of its time, Titanic, on its maiden voyage, collided with an iceberg and sank into the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean. The ship had an estimated 2200 people on board, including passengers and crew, when it sank on the fateful night of April 15, 1912. However, only 700 could be saved. Even a century after it had sunk, Titanic still has admirers and the stories about the ship continue to fascinate everyone. Meanwhile, Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer is all set to build Titanic II, around a decade after he had announced the project. Titanic II would reportedly be a replica of the ill-fated vessel.

A captivating ship-wreck site
The story of Titanic was mythologised when Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron adapted it to the silver screen. The movie titled ‘Titanic’ became a cult classic topping the Oscars list. Leonardo Caprio and Kate Winslet starred as star–crossed lovers in the blockbuster movie that was released in 1997. Interestingly, the movie went on to win all the big awards at the Oscars that year. Researchers and deep–sea explorers have always been attracted to the wreck of Titanic, which was discovered in 1985. It is located around 13,000 feet under the Atlantic Ocean, which is about 740 km from Newfoundland, Canada. In June 2023, one such expedition in a submersible named Titan ended in tragedy, killing five people.

Meanwhile, Palmer, in a presser that was held at the Sydney Opera House, opened up about his big plan to relaunch the Titanic. When a journalist asked why he wanted to build another ship, exactly like the doomed vessel, Plamer replied, “It’s a lot more fun to do the Titanic than to sit home and count my money.” It was in 2012 that Palmer contemplated the idea of building an exact replica of the Titanic. Even though he went ahead with the project in 2018, the COVID-19 outbreak forced him to keep it aside.

Palmer’s big dream
When he unveiled his design a decade ago, Palmer said that he wanted to build a vessel that was “far superior than the original”. The mining magnate is wealthy and quirky enough to pursue such a strange dream. He had to put the mega project that is worth billions of dollars on the back burner when the world got locked down during the pandemic outbreak. However, Palmer and his Blue Star Line company started working on the liner again after the pandemic.

The Blue Star Line company has already begun inviting proposals for building the vessel. The manufacturer would be roped in by the end of this year and the construction would begin by the first half of 2025. Palmer hopes that shipbuilders based in Europe would be successful in grabbing the tender. At the presser, his team released an eight-minute video of the detailed layout and other features of the proposed vessel. Meanwhile, the company encouraged the passengers to wear outfits from the 1900s; however, the spokesperson of the company said that it wasn’t mandatory.

The vessel would be 269 metres long and 32.2 metres wide, making it slightly bigger than the original ship. Around 2345 passengers could be accommodated in 835 cabins in nine decks. Half of these would be reserved for the first-class passengers. Meanwhile, third-class passengers would be served stew and mash just as in the original ship. However, other food items too would be available for them.

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