Byline: Associated Press
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian billionaire announced that he plans to create a high-tech replica of the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic using a China-based shipbuilder — and that its maiden voyage in late 2016 will be from England to New York, just like the original.
Weeks after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original Titanic, Clive Palmer announced April 30 he has signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build Titanic II.
“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but … will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” Palmer said in a statement. He called the project “a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic.”
Palmer is Australia’s fifth-richest person, with an estimated fortune of more than $5 billion, according to BRW magazine.
Titanic II is the first of four luxury cruise ships Palmer has commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard to build. The diesel-powered ship will have four smoke stacks like the coal-powered original, but they will be purely decorative.
The most obvious changes from the original Titanic would be below the waterline, including welding rather than rivets, a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency and enlarged rudder and bow thrusters for increased maneuverability, Palmer said.