AUSTRALIAN mining magnate Clive Palmer didn’t follow Leonardo DiCaprio’s lead and declare “I’m the king of the world”, but he put on a Hollywood-style performance in New York while launching his bold plan to build Titanic II.
Mr Palmer wouldn’t say on what the cost would be to make the full-scale replica of the doomed 1912 super passenger liner, but it has been estimated at more than $US200 million ($A195.34 million).
“Titanic was a ship of dreams,” Mr Palmer told reporters at Manhattan’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
“TItanic II is the ship where dreams will come true.”
Construction of Titanic II is expected to be completed in China in the second half of 2016 and Palmer said demand for tickets to take a voyage on the ship exceeds demand, with some reports enthusiasts have offered $1 million to be on the maiden trip from Southampton, UK, to New York.
Just like the original, passengers can buy first, second and third class tickets for the six day voyage.
Passengers will also be able to dress in 1912-style clothing, giving them an opportunity to step back in time, or pretend they are DiCaprio or Kate Winslet, who starred in James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster movie Titanic.
“I’ll be in third class,” Mr Palmer said.
“I’ll be looking forward to banging the drum and playing the fiddle and all of those sort of things and twirling around like Leonardo did in the movie.”
While Titanic II will be a replica, including decor inside, it will feature some modern conveniences including air conditioning, a theatre, casino and state-of-the-art lifeboats.
A decision is yet to be made, but Mr Palmer doesn’t want Titanic II to have email or TVs.
“I’m against having internet on the ship,” he said.
“If you go for six days and want to go back to 1912, you shouldn’t have internet.”
As for the feeling held by many that re-creating the Titanic, in which 1,502 of the 2,224 passengers died when the ship hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912, would be bad luck and tempting fate, Mr Palmer disagreed.
However, unlike the original, there will be no declarations that Titanic II will be unsinkable.
“Anything will sink if you can put a hole in it,” he said.
“I think you would be very cavalier to say that.”
Mr Palmer said an unknown when the original ship sailed – climate change – may play into a positive for the new ship’s fate.
“One of the benefits of global warming is there hasn’t been as many icebergs in the North Atlantic these days,” he said.