Billionaire Proposes a Titanic Replica…Again

Is it time we give Titanic tourism a rest?

A computer generated 3D illustration of the historic passenger ship, the Titanic. Do we really need a Titanic II?
Another day, another plan to launch the Titanic II.
Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but I am very much of the belief that it’s time to put Titanic-centric tourism to rest. If we’ve learned anything from recent events, it’s that these things have a real penchant for going…awry.

Yet, here we are — just shy of the 112th anniversary of the sinking of the famed British luxury passenger liner — discussing the potential for a Titanic II! And no, I’m not talking about a sequel to the classic 1997 film, either.

Per CNN, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has, not for the first time, proposed a rebuild of the original RMS Titanic. Originally pitching the idea in 2012, and again in 2018, Palmer was forced to pump the breaks in recent years chiefly due to the pandemic. (You might recall how notoriously unpopular cruises became at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak.) But because “[i]t’s a lot more fun to do the Titanic than it is to sit at home and count [his] money,” as Palmer reportedly told local media at a press briefing at the Sydney Opera House earlier this month, he’s now apparently interested in circling back.

If the project comes to fruition this time around, the idea is that the Titanic II will feel exactly like its namesake did in 1912, insofar as passengers “will be encouraged to dress for the 1900s” and “third class passengers will be treated to stew and mash at long tables in a communal dining room — as they were on the original boat,” CNN writes, citing a spokesperson for Blue Star Line, the company behind the project. Further, while capacity is targeted at 2,345 passengers across nine decks and 835 cabins, nearly half of the latter will be reserved exclusively for first-class passengers. (Just like the lifeboats IRL!) What could be more fun than paying money to cosplay as a poor immigrant seeking a better life in the U.S., but ultimately — and unnecessarily — sent to a watery grave instead?

The plans, as CNN notes, are very similar to the original Titanic but with current regulations in mind. Work on the ship is set to begin in early 2025, though Blue Star Line has yet to confirm a ship builder (Palmer, the company’s chairman, is currently seeking bids). According to the plans, it will be 269 meters long and 32.2 meters wide, which is actually marginally wider than the OG ship — presumably good news for the Rose Dawson Calverts (née DeWitt-Bukater) of the world.

“We are very pleased to announce that after unforeseen global delays, we have reengaged with partners to bring the dream of Titanic ll to life,” Palmer said in a press release. “Let the journey begin.”

Of course, Palmer isn’t alone in his preoccupation with the Titanic. In fact, despite the lofty price tag associated with visiting the actual wreckage, Titanic tourism is actually a pretty lucrative industry. What sets him apart? I would argue it’s his quest for world peace by way of the Titanic II: “We all know how to make war. We get armies and we fund wars. People know about that. But it is a lot harder to make peace. To make peace you have got to stick with it every day. You progress inch by inch,” he said in the release.

“Titanic ll is something that can provide peace. It can be a ship of peace between all countries of the world,” he added. “Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty. Titanic ll will be the ship where those dreams come true.”

As a reminder, the original ship was literally dubbed “The Ship of Dreams.” Seen this movie, roll credits.


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