Written by: Andrea Shockling Thursday, March 7th, 2013 .
It’s the most famous ocean liner in history, but would you actually want to sail across the Atlantic Ocean on a reproduction of the ill-fated Titanic? Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer is counting on the answer being a resounding yes. His company Blue Star Line recently unveiled building plans for the re-creation and announced that voyages from Southampton, England to New York, New York on the Titanic II would begin in three year’s time.
The ship will have 850 cabins, enough for 2,600 guests divided by class just like on the original. Part of the “appeal” will be the segregation of the classes, and Palmer explained that first class passengers will not be allowed to mingle with the second or third class passengers. Perpetuating class divide on a cruise ship seems like an odd way to spend a vacation, but no doubt many people will clamor at the opportunity. And because guests will also be wearing early-20th century costumes as part of their ticket price, it will be easy to see who is who. First class passengers may chose to spend several days in the lower quarters, but they’ll first need to change their costumes.
In addition to the costumes and period detail throughout the ship, Palmer hinted that the experience itself might be intentionally lacking in modern distractions on board. “The area [for] passengers will be authentic with the same design and facilities, but there will be modern things such as air conditioning and other features we are debating, such as Internet on the ship,” Palmer said as the plans were presented. “I’m against it. I think you should relax on vacation. There won’t be TVs in the state rooms though.”
But with an early 20th century pool and gym to explore, in addition to dining for all three classes of passengers, sailing on the Titanic II could be a bit like living inside the world’s most luxurious museum. Who needs modern conveniences when the whole point of the voyage is authentically recreating an experience from a century ago?
Of course the biggest question on everyone’s mind when it comes to anything Titanic-related is safety. Blue Line promises “the most safe cruise ship in the world when it launches.” But Palmer is committed to the original “unsinkable” design with a few modern updates, like ensuring there are enough full size lifeboats for all 2,600 passengers and 900 additional crew members. For comparison, the Titanic had only 20 small lifeboats capable of holding half of the 2,223 people on board. “Anything will sink if you put a hole in it,” said Palmer, “I’m not super-superstitious. We are staying true to the original Titanic,” but obviously some updates will be necessary for both comfort and smooth sailing.
So how much will this voyage of a lifetime cost for passengers? Ticket prices haven’t been announced yet, though Palmer revealed that offers have come in pledging up to $1 million for the chance to be on board the maiden voyage. For our part, a painstaking recreation of the original Titanic – if it is indeed as authentic as Palmer promises – could be an exciting opportunity to explore a piece of history that has fascinated the world for one hundred years. Palmer himself said, “It will really help you pretend you are in the movie.” But maybe we’d rather do that while the ship was in sight of land.
Image source: titanic-ii.com