- A replica of the world’s most famous “unsinkable” ship – which struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912, killing 1,503 people – is under construction with a maiden voyage planned for 2018.
Australian tycoon and politician Clive Palmer — not J. Bruce Ismay — is at the helm of the ambitious project to faithfully recreate the luxury ship, which will be about 13 feet wider to meet current regulations.
There was a reason Titanic was known as a floating palatial hotel. Her patrons desired the comforts and lifestyle they were accustomed to and as could be experienced in the best hotels in Europe and America.
In 1912 Titanic did not have the technology we have today and passengers did not necessarily have the same expectations of amusements aboard – however many parallels can be drawn. Public rooms offered light snacks and refreshments and afternoon tea was enjoyed at 4pm every day in the Reception Rooms where tea and cakes were served. Concerts were held several times throughout the day or passengers could get some sun relaxing in a deck chair on the upper decks.
The Turkish Bath was akin to the modern practice of a day spa where passengers could enjoy a massage or beauty treatment. Although not situated on the upper decks, the swimming pool was very popular with First Class passengers.
In many ways, class defined people and it was important to be seen in the right place. While traveling First Class suggested a certain standing and wealth, some passengers preferred the relaxed social etiquette of Second Class that was so de rigueur in First Class.
“The new Titanic will of course have modern evacuation procedures, satellite controls, digital navigation and radar systems and all those things you’d expect on a 21st century ship,” James McDonald, global marketing director of Palmer’s company, Blue Star Line, told the paper.
The new nine-deck ship will be 885 feet long, about two more than her doomed predecessor, 174 feet high and have a maximum speed of 24 knots. She will accommodate 2,400 passengers – 177 more than the RMS Titanic.
It also will feature the same categories of passengers – from the first-class movers and shakers to the hoi polloi in third class, where poor DiCaprio was berthed in the classic movie.
Unlike the Belfast-built original, the Titanic II is under construction by the CSC Jinling Shipyard in Jiangsu, China.
Its maiden voyage will not be from Southampton to New York, but rather Jiangsu, China, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the paper reported.
Some of the dead passengers’ relatives have criticized the project for a new Titanic, but Blue Star has reportedly been flooded with requests for tickets – with some offering up to about $900,000 for a spot on the first trip.