On the year that has seen the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Titanic, a billionaire Australian businessman has announced that he has commissioned the building of Titanic II — a 21st century version of the ship.
Clive Palmer, who has made his money through mining, has confirmed the ship's order to the press adding that Titanic II would bear a huge resemblance to the original ship, though would be filled with modern technology to ensure the ship's luxury and safety are that of a 21st century Titanic.
"It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st Century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," Palmer said in a statement.
"Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it," Mr Palmer said in response to questions from reporters on whether the Titanic replica would sink. "It is going to be designed so it won't sink. But, of course, if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen."
Palmer confirmed that he has signed as memorandum of understanding with the CSC Jinling Shipyard, in China — a partially state owned business — with work expected to begin by the end of the year. Titanic II should be ready to set sail in 2016 and could be the flagship of a new luxury cruise line owned by Palmer.
The mining expert, who boasts strong business relations in China, has begun expanding into tourism. He currently owns a luxury resort on the Sunshine Coast in Australia and plans to build a fleet of luxury liners in the coming years.
Is Titanic II really in homage to the world's most renowned luxury cruise ship, or a Ryan Air-style publicity stunt for his forthcoming cruise line. Either way this story is bound to gain interest as the ship starts to take shape over the next couple of years.
Written by Stephen Adam
Photo: © Encyclopedia Titanica