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Titanic II plans put on hold, most likely won’t ever go through

Ian Harvey
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.Source
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.Source

Just last year it was announced that the replica of the Titanic that is being built and named Titanic II would be held off until 2018. This news comes two years after it was originally supposed to be completed.

Work on the ship has still not started, mostly due to low cash funds. An Australian billionaire is supposed to be funding the project, but many are starting to assume that the project and the billionaire have come across some money issues.

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.Source
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10th, 1912.Source

The project is estimated to cost $500 million and is being overseen by Clive Palmer, the owner of the shipping company Blue Star.   The owner is a mining magnate who earned his millions in real estate. He originally announced that he planned on funding the project in 2012 and the ship was arranged to set sail on its maiden voyage in 2016.

Despite the numerous delays, Palmer stressed last year that the project was simply delayed, not canceled. Earlier, in December 2015, an Australian newspaper reported that Palmer had seemed unable to draw from out his private reserves in order to bail out his key assets. That means that he is struggling to maintain his big-spending lifestyle and his Queensland Nickel refinery at Yabulu, which employs 800 people.

The newspaper said that to add to his woes, his charity, the Palmer Care Foundation, was short of funds. He had also paused his contributions to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Australia, and it was thought he was selling the QNI Company. Despite his assurances that he was making a comeback, it appears to be just the opposite.

The first-class dining experience. Source:Blue Star Line
The first-class dining experience. Source:Blue Star Line

Many descendants who had lost relatives on the Titanic might be happy to hear that the second Titanic project will be put on hold. However, there are rumors going around that another replica is under construction. In May of 2015 Seven Star Energy Investment, a Chinese state-owned company, began construction on a virtual carbon copy of the White Star Line vessel. It’s estimated that it will take about $160 million to complete in 26 months. This would be about the same amount of time that it took to construct the original ship at Harland and Wolff in Belfast at the beginning of the 20th century.

The replica will never reach the sea, meaning that it will be permanently docked about 900 miles inland. It will be the centerpiece of a theme park on the River Qi in China’s Sichuan Province. The ship will be an attraction ride, recreating the ship’s collision with an iceberg. Seven Star CEO, Su Shaojun, said that when the ship hits the iceberg, the entire ship will shake. It will also capsize and water will come in. People will experience the water coming in through the use of sound and lighting effects. He added that the idea is to make people think that the water will actually drown them and that they have to escape before the ship sinks.

When Palmer’s ship is completed, if ever, it will look exactly like the original Titanic, which sunk in 1912. It will be larger, though, and it will keep up with modern safety standards, resulting in it being four meters wider. Also, the hull of the ship will be welded, not riveted like the original ship.

The staircase would be recreated exactly. Source:Blue Star Line
The staircase would be recreated exactly. Source:Blue Star Line

Palmer was hoping that the replica would take the same exact passage that the original Titanic did. The Titanic II will be built by the state-owned Chinese shipyard CSC Jinling. They are hoping that the ship will take the route from Jiangsu, China to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The inside of the ship will also look a bit different. It will carry a three-tiered passenger class system as well in having nine floors and 840 cabins. The Global marketing director of Blue Star Line, James McDonald, said that the new ship will have modern evacuation procedures, satellite controls, digital navigation, and radar systems.

Many people are getting suspicious and have raised questions, on just how far along the construction of the ship is. However, it does appear that no construction whatsoever has even begun. McDonald said that it is quite unlikely that the ship will be finished by 2018. The company has not given the public any updated information for nearly two years. Their media presence remains patchy and they have not updated their social media since 2014. The Blue Star Line trademark has been listed since March 2015.

FT5S-Bedroom-Titanic-II-Blue-Star-Lines (1)

Source:Blue Star Line

The idea of the ship is described in Australia as just another big idea that doesn’t work out, just like a lot of Palmer’s ideas. As in the remaking the ship, there was talk about possibly remaking the Zeppelin. Palmer had started Zeppelin International company in 2010 and had hoped to remake the airship.

At the time when he proposed the idea, he had claimed that the first Zeppelin had used the wrong sort of gas, which resulted in the terrible accident. He later told other newspapers that he and his company were going to look into other investments such as beef cattle; no longer concentrating on the Zeppelins.

Sadly, Palmer has made dozens of business proposals to attract tourists and none of them have followed through. Before the Titanic II proposal, he was purported to have ordered over 100 giant robot dinosaurs from China. He had planned to use them at his golf resort on the Sunshine Coast in order to recreate his own Jurassic Park.

Other failed interests include politics – he had claimed he was running for federal office in Australia. He then went on to found his own political party known as the Palmer United Party in April 2013. In 2012, he had voiced his concern about an alleged CIA campaign to end the coal mining industry in Australia. He had gone so far as to say that Barack Obama was involved in the sabotage.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News