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Palmer undocks Titanic II plans

NEW YORK: Australian billionaire Clive Palmer revealed his grand design plans to build a modern-day replica of the doomed Titanic, confirming the cruise liner would make its maiden voyage in 2016.

At a press conference in New York on Tuesday, and following a rendition of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, Mr Palmer told the world’s media construction of the 835-cabin ship would begin in China later this year.

The billionaire, who used the honorific ”Professor”, awarded by Bond University in 2008, for the announcement, said 40,000 people had already registered for tickets on the first voyage, which will retrace the fateful 1912 trip from Southampton to New York, in which more than 1500 passengers and crew died.


Setting sail … a drawing of the proposed cruise ship Titanic II. Photo: Reuters

Among those interested were 16 who were willing to pay between $750,000 and $1 million for a spot.

Refusing to divulge the cost of Titanic II (”I have enough money to pay for it, so that’s all that really matters”), the 58-year-old said it was not about money but recreating the romance and memories of a bygone era – minus the iceberg.

Passengers aboard the 10-deck ship will be provided with 1912-style outfits to wear during their holiday and there will be no phone or television – and he was debating about internet access.


Cruise power … the propellers on the original titanic. Photo: Titanic In Photographs: Klistorn

Titanic II will have Turkish baths, a smoking room, casino, theatre and hospital. Key differences to the original include a high-tech engine, airconditioning and a safety deck with more lifeboats (including 18 covered motorised lifeboats).

As with the original, there would be first, second and third classes and they would not be allowed to mingle. Mr Palmer said he would be travelling third class, dressed in a wig and 1912 garb.

”I like Irish stew and potatoes … . I’m looking forward to banging the drums, playing the fiddle and getting dizzy as I twirl around like Leonardo did in the movie,” Mr Palmer said, referring to the 1997 blockbuster, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.


Making history … the orginal Titanic leaving Southampton on her ill-fated maiden voyage on April 10, 1912. Photo: AFP/Southampton City Council
At the press conference, Mr Palmer provided Helen Benziger, of Wyoming, whose great-grandmother survived the 1912 disaster, the chance to speak. She said she was ”thrilled” about the project ”because the professor has assured me he will honour those passengers that perished and survived”.

Mr Palmer said Titanic II would be the safest cruise ship in the world but, when asked if it would be unsinkable, he said: ”It’s very cavalier to say that. I think people have said that in the past and lived to regret it.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/professor-palmers-ship-comes-in-20130227-2f6d3.html#ixzz2MGsuN41M

  • brian sheath

    My maternal grandfather helped to build Titanic in Belfast. He tried to stow away but was found out. My paternal grandfather sailed on her from Southampton as a trimmer. He survived in lifeboat number 1 and worked his way back from New York on another ship. My family still live in Southampton and I sail my own boat. I feel a particular connection to Titanic and I am so excited that I may see another Titanic in my home port of Southampton. I am pretty sure that I wont be able to afford a ticket but I will be able to shadow her passage down Southampton water on my own boat. Thank you for this project Mr Palmer – I cant wait.

    • Malcolm O

      Nice story Brian. Tickets for the first few Titanic cruises are likely to cost the earth but in the end prices will need to be not dis-similar to other cruise ships. What’s a ‘Trimmer’?

      • brian sheath

        Thank you for the comment Malcolm. A trimmer basically shovelled coal around to feed the boilermen but also had to ensure that the weight of the coal remained evenly distributed. Uneven weight can make a ship list to one side and that in turn would cause a change to the course through the water. The ship has a rudder to correct steering but as soon as the rudder is not straight, it acts a little like a brake, slowing the ship down. So keeping the rudder straight and ‘trimming’ the ship by adujusting the distribution of coal is the most efficient way of steering. The origin of the word ‘trim’ is from sailing. For example, even on my 8 metre sail boat, if I can get the sails balanced by ‘trimming’ the sails and keep the rudder straight I gain a little extra speed. It was because he worked down in the engine area that my grandfather survived. Once they realised that forward motion was flooding the Titanic quicker, they ordered the engines to be shut down. Once the engines were down, my grandfather’s job was redundant and so he was sent up on deck to help with lifeboats. He had completed his training at HMS Victory in Portsmouth and so was qualified to crew a lifeboat and that is why he survived – and that’s why I am here today!

  • Ahmad Afzal

    Why not using the exect engine like the Titanic 1912 Steam Engine?

    • Malcolm O

      “Why not using the exact engine like the Titanic 1912 Steam Engine?” Who could still build them? Modern engines are cheaper to run, weight less, take up less room and easier to maintain. In addition ports are no longer geared up to provide tons of coal. It used to take quite a few days just to load the coal on-board. They had to cover all of the furniture with clooths because of the coal-dust! Today ships are refuelled in a few hours and the ships ‘turn-around’ in one day.

  • Henrik from Norway

    Almost a shame they’r putting a high-tech engine in the new ship. Would have loved to see an original steam engine instead.

  • Malcolm O

    Well done Mr. Palmer. I love the concept. However the ship needs to be a mix of modern and authenticity to survive! 1) I cannot imagine anybody booking a 3rd class (steerage) cabin with two bunk beds (four berths) and no private toilet. Mr. Palmer will have to re-think there design. 2) The deck needs de-cluttering for sun bathing and there needs to be a pool on the stern. Yes I know it’s not an original feature but people will expect it, if the ship is in warmer climates. 3) As for class segregation: I would book a 3rd class cabin, if it was simpler and cheaper (with a private toilet) but I would at least expect some access to the 2nd and 3rd dining rooms, smoking rooms and lounges. I would still want to experience the whole ship. 4) Modern people would need a lot more entertainment on offer than the Titanic had. I believe there is talk of a Theatre on the ‘Safety Deck’. 5) I believe a few cabins have there own private prom deck, well he needs to fit a few more in (without spoiling the ships lines). some people will not cruise without a balcony.

    Malcolm O

  • Nuno

    what is the cost of tickets ? in 1st class , 2nd class and 3rd class ?

    • Malcolm O

      Nuno, looking at the 1912 fares:

      The cheapest 1st class passage was £ 23, without meals, £2,200 in todays

      White Star charged 3/- for breakfast 3/6 for lunch and 5/- for dinner
      at that time.

      There were in addition charges to use the swimming pool 1/-
      Turkish bath or electric bath , 4/- Squash Court 2/- for 30

      First class suites cost between £400 and £870 or in today’s
      money, £39,000.00 to £ 84,000.00

      The cheapest 3rd class fare was £ 7 15s, including meals, approx £750.0 today.

      • Nuno

        hi Malcolm , thank you very much for your help , about the fares , thanks

  • Jonathan

    It is a great shame Shame Prof. Palmer’s not going to make Titanic 11 identical in hull shape to the original Titanic as I understand Titanic 11 will be over 12 ft wider than the original Titanic, and will obviously have a different underwater profile! I realise of course certain ‘on board’ concessions have to be made these days, but I fail to see how these concessions would impact on changing the hull shape. I cannot understand the point of going to all the expense of building another Titanic, albeit a modernised version, when the finished ship will have a different hull shape both above and below the waterline, and surely by changing the hull shape, you’re loosing the very obvious unique selling point and the essence of the Titanic herself. Harland and Wolff’s designs for the Olympic Class liners (one of which was the Titanic) is of fundamental importance to all this, and should not be overlooked and changing the basic lines of the ship itself seems to effect credibility, especially as so much is being made of the historical significance of the original ship, the builders, the survivors and the legacy left after the sinking.
    As the matter presently stands the Titanic 11 will not be an exact replica of the original Titanic’s hull shape, when to my mind it could easily have been so, and still be, and perhaps at a lesser cost. I feel Prof. Palmer may regret it if he passes up the chance of making an original and faithful copy of the hull as someone else may go one step better than him one day, and build an exact hull copy of the Titanic, and where would that leave the Titanic 11!
    The Titanic 11 is a fantastic idea and I am in complete awe but I consider a trick is being missed because the Titanic 11 is lacking the basic hull authenticity and in view of this, perhaps the naval architects should be revisited with a suggestion they keep to the original hull shape.

    • Malcolm O

      Jonathan said: “It is a great shame Shame Prof. Palmer’s not going to make Titanic 11 identical in hull shape to the original..”

      So much more is know today about hull design. The original Titanic hull shape is too narrow to meet the modern regulations about buoyancy and stability of ships. In addition an extra deck was added for the lifeboats, making the ship taller. This changes the hull design. Modern Azipod propulsion also alters the underwater profile required.
      You just cannot safely build an exact replica ship. In addition passenger requirements have changed over time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/otis.marsh Otis Marsh

    No telephone or internet for the passengers? No problem, Ship to Shore Radiograms are possible today, as it was in the past. Ship to Shore Morse Code is still alive.

    • Malcolm O

      I don’t mind a bit of peace and quiet. However Mr. palmer needs to remember 1) Internet and mobile phone services can generate income. 2) Net users on-board might well be blogging about what a wonderful ship Titanic 2 is.

  • http://twitter.com/AuronShale Auron Shale

    Well, this is really an amazing feat for anyone to do. I remember I used to dream about someone doing the same thing after I found out one of my ancestors actually survived the sinkking. Hope I can actually make it on board!

  • Mike

    Kudos to you sir a man after my own heart but obviously with more ready cash than I. I would suggest not providing internet access to anyone except the Captain and crew. My wife and I were out for dinner a bit ago and a young couple (mid 40′s) sat near us and did not speak to each other the entire time just kept texting on their “smart phones”. It was incredibly sad to witness.

    • Nuno

      what is the cost of tickets ? in 1st class , 2nd class and 3rd class ? more less