The Titanic time warp: We knew it was being rebuilt, but as these amazing new designs show, it really WILL be 1912 all over again
Yesterday at The Ritz hotel in London, the Professor Clive Palmer show rolled into town. And what a show.
He is still relatively unknown in this country, but surely not for long. For Prof Palmer is the Australian businessman who is going to bring back the Titanic... or at least a modern-day replica of it.
Unveiling his plans for Titanic II, the ebullient mining magnate insisted the new ship will set sail in 2016, and dismissed his doubters with a single word.
Professor Palmer thinks that the Titanic II will be up and running as soon as possible, despite the high cost
The Cafe de Parisien, decorated with intricate woodwork, will provide guests with a relaxing area to socialise during the day
'B******t,' he said to those who questioned whether he would ever make his dream a reality. 'This is not a fantasy, this is not a movie. This is going to happen,' he added.
Titanic II will seek to closely match the design of original vessel, which sank on the fifth day of its maiden voyage in April 1912, killing more than 1,500 passengers and crew.
It will boast the same interiors, and even the same onboard gymnasium, complete with Edwardian exercise machines.
The grand staircase, smoking room, Cafe Parisien and various dining rooms will also be recreated, as will the reading and writing room, the swimming pool and Moorish-influenced Turkish baths.
The Turkish baths will be the height of luxury on the £400million replica ship
There will be an authentic Edwardian gym complete with equipment that guests can use
There will not be televisions or state-of-the-art music systems on board, nor internet connections or mobile phones. But every passenger will find period costumes in their cabin wardrobe so that they can enjoy 'a true 1912 experience'.
However, the plans include a safety deck (with more lifeboats obviously), a new high-tech engine, air-conditioning and service lifts.
As with the original ship, there will be First, Second and Third Class cabins and passengers will not be allowed to mingle – apart from on the safety deck, where there will be a casino and theatre.
Clive Palmer, who made his money in iron ore, is determined to get the project up and running as soon as possible
And at 883ft, Titanic II will be three inches longer than its predecessor to accommodate an additional area at the bow where passengers will be able to recreate the iconic 'Jack and Rose pose' made famous by actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in James Cameron's 1997 Oscar-winning movie.
Cameron refused Palmer's invitation to last week's Titanic II celebratory gala dinner in New York.
Another dinner was held last night at London's Natural History Museum, where guests were served the same 11 course dinner as First-Class passengers on the original.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday yesterday, Prof Palmer said he would travel Third Class on his ship's maiden voyage – 'Although I'll probably nip up to First or the bridge as we come into New York harbour,' he said.
'Third Class has got all the appeal, but there might be people who normally travel Third Class who might want to go in First.'
Known as the man who got rich under the radar, Palmer was born in Melbourne to Nancy and George Palmer, a silent movie star of the 1920s who went on to set up the first commercial radio stations in Australia.
Clive made his first millions investing in property on Australia's Gold Coast but became eye-wateringly rich after moving into iron ore mining.
His net worth is the subject of much debate. Business Review Weekly rates Palmer as Australia's fifth-richest person with assets of $5 billion (about £3.5 billion) while Forbes estimates his wealth at a relatively paltry $895 million (£600 million).
Palmer contends he is far wealthier than even the BRW estimate. He refuses to say how much Titanic II will cost to build, although experts believe it will between £260 million and £400 million.
While the original was built in Belfast, this ship will be constructed in a Chinese yard, and the voyage could become a financial bonanza for Palmer.
But he says: 'My motivation wasn't to make a lot of money but was actually to deliver the ship. Now something which wasn't primarily aimed in my mind as a great business transaction may well become one.'
An example of a berth in the new Titanic II. Visitors will be able to either spend all six days in one class, or spend two days in each to get the full experience
The will be a non-operational radio control room similar to the one that would have sent out the distress call on the original Titanic
The Titanic II's plans showing how the ship differs from the original. There will be more lifeboats and advanced safety equipment on board
Passengers will be able to buy a six-day ticket for one class, or a mixed ticket covering two days in each section. Prices have not been set yet although Palmer says he has already had offers from 16 people of between £500,000 and £850,000 for berths.
'That's not the sort of figure we'll be asking but it shows the demand,' he says, adding that 40,000 people have expressed an interest on his website bluestarline.com – an homage to the original Titanic operating company, the White Star Line.
'The Titanic II is about falling in love with your wife all over again or her falling in love with you. It's about going back to a different time,' he says.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Rebuilding The Titanic
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