Titanic to sail again
A billionaire businessman will build an exact replica of the disaster-hit Titanic - and it will sail the same route as its ill-fated predecessor.
Clive Palmer announced plans to build a replica today and revealed it will sail from Britain to New York in 2016 just like the original.
He called it “a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic”.
It will look just like the original with the help of historical researchers.
But unlike the original, it won’t be built in Belfast after the entrepreneur chose China to construct it and three other luxury vessels.
The ship will run on diesel rather than coal so its four smoke stacks will be included just for appearances.
Technological advances will mean it is welded rather than held together with rivets. A bulbous bow will provide greater fuel efficiency and an enlarged rudder and bow thrusters will give it increased manoeuvrability.
Palmer suggested it would not fall victim to the same threats which sunk the original.
White Star Line’s Titanic sank on its maiden voyage on April 15 1912 after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, with more than 1,500 lives lost.
He said: “It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems.”
Australian Palmer, 58, has created Blue Star Line to operate Titanic II after it sails out of Chinese state-owned shipbuilder CSC Jinling Shipyard.
Palmer is using his vast wealth, accumulated as a property investor turned coal mining tycoon. He was fifth in Australia’s rich list last year with a fortune of more than $5billion (£3.2billion).
Brett Jardine, a member of the International Cruise Council, said: “From a marketing point of view, many will embrace it and perhaps there’ll be some that wouldn’t.
“If you’ve got a niche, it’s going to work. Why go out there and try to compete with the mass market products that are out there now?”