Australian Mining Billionaire, Clive Palmer Behind $175million Titanic II - Plans To Turn Third Class Into An 'Adventure Holiday'
|How Titanic II May possible Look Like|
Third class experience to include simplistic menus, cramped cabins and delousing on arrival in New York
The replica of the ill-fated 1912 original is expected to cost in excess of $175million (£105million)
Titanic II's maiden voyage from Southampton to New York is due to set sail in 2017, with the capacity for 2,500
|The original Titanic Leaving Southampton on its first-and-final voyage|
It was branded the unsinkable ship that had every luxury imaginable available to its wealthy passengers.
But the billionaire who is rebuilding the Titanic today chose not to boast of the lavish facilities for the privileged few who will travel first class.
Instead, Clive Palmer said that he was considering marketing third class tickets as an adventure holiday - complete with limited menus, cramped bunks and delousing on arrival in New York.
‘First class on the Titanic was truly unbelievable, second class was like our first class and third class - well third class was really third class’, he told news.com.au.
'The Titanic original design had an area under the water line two decks high and 40ft (12m) long simply marked "potatoes.'''
Period clothing will be provided to guests who wish to dress up for the voyage as there will be no access to television or the internet for entertainment on the 40,000 tonne ship.
Passengers may also be treated to Irish jigs and delousing upon arrival in New York though Mr Palmer conceded that they may simply be sprayed with a hose of confetti. 'We might offer to recreate the experience of those hopeful immigrants to America, he said.
The original Titanic struck an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, while on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York with the loss of 1,517 lives. Many could have been saved if the ship had had adequate numbers of lifeboats.
Recreating the Titanic down to every last detail is set to cost the former mining magnate, who is now MP for Fairfax, Queensland, an estimated $175million (£105million, $197 Aus).
Titanic II is set to make its maiden voyage in 2017, will include air conditioning, a hospital, a helipad - and the appropriate number of lifeboats which were so tragically missing from the original. The liner is being built by CSC Jinling Shipyard Company in China.
Like the original, there will be room for 2,500 passengers. Both first and third class will have around 1,000 spaces with room for 500 people in second.
It is unclear if Mr Palmer will strictly adhere to the original blueprints for third class passengers in his new ship. Conditions in cabins are likely to be cramped but whether modern tourists will put up with 1912 washing arrangements is debatable. The first Titanic offered personal washbasins for its poorest travellers but only two bathtubs to service the entire class.
The designer of the new ship Markku Kanerva claimed at a press conference last year that it would be the 'most safe cruise ship in the world' with ample lifeboats.
He said that it had more than enough lifeboats and that the hull was stronger than the wooden original because it was made from steel composite.
However, Mr Palmer refused to claim it was 'unsinkable' and instead said: 'I think anything will sink if you put a hole in it. I think you'd be very cavalier to say something like that.
'I think people in the past have done that and lived to regret it.'
The blueprint for the Titanic II was unveiled in New York last year along with computer generated images of the inside.
They bear a startling resemblance to the 1997 James Cameron film about the ship, which starred Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio, and show that many of the original features including the famous Grand Staircase will feature in the new boat.
The six-day maiden voyage will take place in 2017 and will be be from Southampton to New York to 'complete the journey' started all those years ago.
Just like in 1912 there will be three classes of passenger and those with different tickets will not be able to move between the classes.
Professor Palmer outlined his bold vision in which the Titanic II would be 'carrying the hopes and dreams of people everywhere' and represent 'the reconciliation of man'.
There will be capacity for 2,435 passengers and 900 crew.
There will also be lifeboats that can carry 2,700 and a life rafts with an additional capacity of 800.
The original Titanic had just 16 wooden lifeboats that accommodated 1,178 people, one third of the total capacity.Professor Palmer explained that the ship will be 883ft long, which is three inches longer than the original.
It will have a tonnage of 55,800 tonnes compared to 53,210 of the original.
It will have a maximum speed of 24 knots, the same as the first Titanic.
Other original features which will also appear on Titanic II include the Turkish baths, the Cafe Parisien, the two 'Millioniare Suites', the Chart Room, and the quarters belonging to Titanic Master Captain Edward Smith.
For entertainment guests can enjoy the casino, cinema or shopping area.
The blueprint shows that there will even the same 'Marconi room' where the Titanic sent out its final SOS.
Whereas the original was built by the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, in a sign of how times have changed the Titanic II is being constructed by state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard.
Professor Palmer refused to reveal how much he is paying to build Titanic II but claimed there had already been significant interest, including from celebrities.
He said: '40,000 people had registered for tickets on the ship's website with 16 offering between $750,000 and $1m to be on the opening voyage.'
He added that on the first trip he would be 'in third class twiddling the fiddle like Leonardo Di Caprio did in the film'.
Mr Kanerva, of Finnish boat designers Deltamarin, added: 'I can assure you that from a safety point of view it will be absolutely the most safe cruise ship in the world.'
'We are taking into account all of the possible incidents and accidents and we try to simulate all of those occasions.'
'Collision is the most common accident we are talking about'.
The launch, on the USS Intrepid moored on a pier in Manhattan, was met with a mixed reaction by relatives of those who survived the original sinking.
Helen Benzinger, the great granddaughter of Molly Brown, an American heiress who was on board Titanic, said that she was 'thrilled' at the new design.
The family of the Capt Smith however have said the replica is 'in bad taste'.