Would you take a cruise on a Titanic replica? You may just get the opportunity to do that, as it looks like plans are in the works to build a high-tech replica of the ship, with Titanic II's maiden voyage scheduled for 2016, to sail from England to New York as the original was set to do.
I'm torn between being a bit unnerved and a bit fascinated by this news. The Boston Herald reported news that an Australian billionaire has announced that he's going to build a "high-tech replica" of Titanic. This news comes not long after the centenary of the RMS Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage. Clive Palmer has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with CSC Jining Shipyard, a chinese company.
"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," Palmer said in a statement. He called the project "a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic."
According to what Palmer said, the reason previous attempts to build a new Titanic failed was due to money issues. Palmer has reportedly established a shipping company called Blue Star Line PTY. Ltd, which sounds intentionally similar to the name of Titanic's owner, White Star Line. The replica will be diesel powered, but from the sound of it, designed to look like Titanic with four decorative smoke stacks on the outside. There are other design changes, including using welding as opposed to rivets and changes made to the bow to improve fuel efficiency. Let's hope the company goes above and beyond on safety measures.
Given the ongoing fascination with the tragedy, especially from a historic perspective, I can understand the appeal of getting the opportunity to experience the luxury of the ship first-hand. But given the unfortunate events that transpired on the original ship, it seems a bit morbid. And building a new version of Titanic does seem like tempting fate, doesn't it? Kind of like calling a ship "unsinkable." I think I'd probably be tempted to see the replica in person and even to take a tour of it if given the opportunity, especially if it's designed to look just like the original on the inside, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to buy a ticket...
Would you want to take a cruise on a Titanic replica?