Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of "hubris" or "women and children into the lifeboats first," Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has announced plans to build a higher-tech replica of the Titanic, which will sail (hopefully all the way) from England to New York sometime in 2016. The project is currently underway in a shipyard in China.
"It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic," said Palmer, "but will have state-of-the-art twenty-first century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems." Palmer has dubbed the project
Titanic II: Made in China a "tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic."
Built to the scale of the original luxury liner, Titanic II would actually be much smaller than modern cruise ships, but would be powered by diesel rather than coal, and feature a larger rudder to improve maneuverability. It's estimated to carry approximately 1,680 passengers and measure 866 feet. Presumably, it would also carry a more realistic number of lifeboats.
"From a marketing point of view, many will embrace it and perhaps there'll be some that wouldn't," said one cruise industry expert. "If you've got a niche, it's going to work." That may be true, but if your "niche" is recreating the scene of a disaster that killed 1,500 people (and skinny Leo!), it's pretty ballsy to assume people are dying to pay money for that macabre experience. Then again, maybe I'm wrong and Titanic II will be a giant hit with tourists, tween girls, and morbid thrill-seekers alike. If that's the case, consider my signature line of Hindenburg vacation blimps already patented.