Titanic II – Lavish Folly Or A Reality?


Titanic II

Ten years ago, Clive Palmer, the Australian mining billionaire from Queensland, announced plans at The Ritz Hotel, London, to build an exact, to-scale replica of the doomed liner, RMS Titanic. Many observers, myself included, were aghast at this idea, saying that the man must be out of his mind. In 2015 however, the project was halted following a dispute with the Chinese shipbuilders. But in March of this year, Mr. Palmer relaunched his project at a press conference in Sydney, where he laid out plans to put out tenders for the construction, hoping to sign contracts by December 2024, with a maiden voyage planned for June 2027. Speaking of which, Mr. Palmer said it’s hoped the maiden voyage will take place from Southampton to New York via Cherbourg, which would replicate the fateful 1912 voyage of the original Titanic.

We are assured by Mr. Palmer that the new vessel will meet all modern maritime safety standards, with an extra deck being added to allow the ship’s crew to see clearly over the bow of the ship. In the original vessel, men needed to climb into the crow’s nest in order to do this, because radar had yet to be invented.

Designing Titanic II

His Blue Star Line is in talks with Deltamarin, the Finnish ship designers contracted to continue with the design of Titanic II. In fact, you can also take a peek at the projected new ship’s blueprints, just to whet your appetite. The cost of building the ship is said to be in the region of $500M to $1BN and will have the same layout as the original (apart from the extra deck mentioned above) with lavish interiors up to and including the famous and opulent staircase. The ship is said to weigh up to 65,000 tonnes on launch, with state-of-the-art safety equipment and lifeboats up to the latest SOLAS regulations.

Will We Ever See Titanic II At Sea?

Much has been said about Clive Palmer’s plans to build a replica of the doomed Titanic and there’s no avoiding the fact that he has been ridiculed endlessly over his plans. It’s easy to see why because one could say that he’s tempting fate, crossing the line of nautical superstition, and it’s all just a huge publicity stunt. He’s a wealthy man, said to be worth around $25BN AU and so one would expect that throwing $1BN at a project such as this, although a massive investment, could be a labour of love and the fulfillment of a dream. There’s no doubt that Mr. Palmer is a colourful character who owns numerous enterprises, luxury homes, and football (soccer) clubs and is said to be a philanthropist and perhaps a tad eccentric. However, I don’t see many salty sea adventures under his belt, unless he owns a yacht, of course, but then, with a project like this, does that really matter?

I’ve been a sailor all my life and have a fascination for the sea. I’ve sailed on cargo ships, wooden sailing yachts, luxury ocean liners, and small dinghies. Perhaps I’m also an old romantic sea dog, so for all these reasons, I would love to see his dream come to fruition.

An Ocean Liner Should Be A Thing Of Beauty!

I think most people would agree that the ocean liners of old were beautiful vessels that cut through the oceans majestically and with grace. One must remember that many of these liners were around 50,000 tonnes, accommodating perhaps some 2000+ passengers. Pictured above is the SS United States, a beautiful example of a graceful ship with clean lines and real presence.

Today’s passenger liners are now vast floating cities, with the largest ship being Icon of the Seas at 268,000 tonnes, 365 meters long and with a capacity of 7600 passengers and 2350 crew. Make up your own mind which is the more beautiful and graceful of vessels.

A Return To The Golden Age Of Cruise Liners?

In 1974 I was lucky enough to sail aboard the Costa Line cruise liner, Eugenio ‘C’ from Genoa to South America, calling at Gibraltar, Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and finally, Buenos Aires. At the moment of departure from Genoa, the massively loud ship’s horn sounded, which sent a shudder down my spine and a moment later a brass band on the quayside struck up a rousing rendition of the Italian national anthem with ticker tape and balloons flying around, which moved many passengers to tears. The two-week voyage with around 1500 other passengers was delightful and an adventure to a new world, for us anyway. Dressing up for dinner was mandatory and a sense of decorum was felt throughout the ship at all times. One senses that Clive Palmer wishes to recreate that splendour of the golden days and in that endeavour, I wish him luck.

Incidentally, in 1976 I sailed back to Southampton aboard the M.V. Brasilia Star, a ship owned by the previous Blue Star Line Ltd – a month-long voyage of thrills and spills which took us to Montevideo, Rio, Rotterdam, and finally home, but that’s another story entirely.

If I spot any further developments in the proposed construction of Titanic II, I will of course bring further updates.

4 thoughts on “Titanic II – Lavish Folly Or A Reality?”

  1. I too have some nautical salt in my veins. I sailed with our Navy over the vast Pacific back in the 1960’s. Serving on a 20,000 ton amphibious flagship, we even had to ride out a typhoon on a West-Pac cruise.
    I totally agree with your appreciation of the beauty and form of our earlier ocean liners. I had a 28″ scale model of the SS United States (as a youngster) after she won the Blue Riband on her fastest Atlantic crossing.
    I also remember being heart-broken back in the 50’s, when the news & pictures came out of the Andrea Doria being lost. She was another classic beauty.
    I do hope I’ll see Clive Palmer’s Titanic II become materialized, and actually displace that 65000 tons of water.

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