Those who have always dreamed of boarding Titanic will soon get their chance, or at least a closely-replicated experience of it. A replica of the ship, which has been under construction in China since 2016, is finally starting to take shape. However, unlike the Titanic replica being funded under Australian businessman and politician Clive Palmer, this model will be permanently dry-docked in China for display purposes only. While this may not sound exciting, there is actually a great deal more in store for those who plan to visit this replica upon its completion.

1. A Shaky Start 

This massive Titanic replica is the brainchild of Su Shaojun, who is currently president of Seven Star Energy Investment Group in Lishui, Zhejiang Province, which is located in southeastern China. Shaojun has always been a big fan of James Cameron’s Titanic and began to consider building a realistic replica of the doomed ocean liner as part of a theme park he’d been planning. ClivePalmer1Shaojun began to realize his dream when he approached Zheshang commercial bank for a whopping $200 million loan to help fund it. By 2016, he was able to launch the project, and construction on the replica began. However, several years later, the project was hampered by rising steel costs and employees who were unhappy about undelivered wages. For a few months, it looked as if Shaojun’s dream might die before being realized.

2. The Dream Goes On

Fortunately, for the president of Seven Star Energy Investment Group and all those who dreamed of stepping aboard this callback to a time when mighty steamships ruled the oceans, economic factors changed and work on the Titanic replica resumed. Today, the ship, which is said to have cost $220 million to construct, is taking shape on the banks of the Qijiang River. While the ship will sit in drydock, those who visit it will thrill to the details they experienced from the beloved film, including an exact copy of Titanic’s grand staircase, where Jack and Rose had some of their most romantic and unforgettable moments. titanic2-1Shaoujun had a few ideas for his replica that would give visitors both a historical and Hollywood experience. For example, he and his team had originally planned to simulate the ship’s sinking as an interactive theme park experience; however, after receiving severe backlash from the public and from families who lost ancestors on that ill-fated voyage, he scrapped that idea and decided to make the replica the epicenter of a massive resort that he hopes will draw people from all over China and beyond.

3.  What Does the Future Hold For Titanic 2?

Shaojun hopes to raise a theme park around his Titanic replica, including the addition of hotels and indoor beaches. However, the ship will be the crown jewel of the attraction, where people can stay in majestic staterooms, just as the original passengers did. There will also be interactive tours of the ship’s grand staircase and boiler room to replace the plans for the ill-advised disaster experience. Eventually, the massive replica will be able to hold 2,400 passengers and over 900 staff, and Shaojun hope that those who visit will remember what Titanic represents to many people and that he and his company can capture the noble spirit of the original. While no date for the resort’s opening has been set, Shaojun has revealed that visitors to his Titanic will be able to enjoy on-board restaurants, a full-service bar, a ballroom, and a full-size movie theater. These amenities, along with the ship’s hotel rooms, are sure to draw thousands of curious and excited Titanic enthusiasts. One thing is certain: no matter what this amazing replica offers its visitors, they are sure to come away with an experience they will likely never forget.

What do you all think about Titanic 2?  Would anyone want to visit her? Are many people willing to pay so much money to visit her whether she is above or below water? A trip to see Titanic 2 may come at a high price, which begs the question… is it live or Memorex? Are Titanic historians even interested in this second new version of Titanic? What about Clive Palmer? There are a lot of questions being asked about whether this project will actually come to fruition, or will it once again fail to see the light of day?

Titanic_II

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titanic_movieer_signed_by_14_castmembers_-_authentic_with_coa_a51d724eThe winter of 1996 saw the premiere of a film that would forever change the way Hollywood framed historical events. James Cameron’s Titanic, which featured a poignant romance against the backdrop of one of the world’s most famous and ill-fated ocean liners, made Jack and Rose household names and stars out of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The film made over $1.8 billion worldwide and was only recently eclipsed by another Cameron movie, Avatar. Now that Titanic has celebrated its 21st anniversary, this begs the question: should Cameron or another director reboot the film, and if so, what are the options for those who have been waiting to get back to Titanic? [click to continue…]

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h&wBelfast, Ireland, has always been a haven for shipbuilding. Toward the start of the 20th century, this industry was booming and the greatest shipyard of them all, Harland and Wolff, was turning out ships like the famed (and doomed) R.M.S. Titanic. At one point, this business employed a huge number of people who lived in the city, and the shipyard covered over 300 acres of land. When construction on Titanic began in March of 1909, it was to be the yard’s crowning achievement and the largest ship ever built by human hands. However, Harland and Wolff is likely seeing its final days in business and is now up for sale, a sad decline from being one of the grandest ship-building organizations to have ever existed. [click to continue…]

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ticehurstThe story of Titanic, those who died aboard her and those who survived have always held sway over the imaginations of historians both professional and amateur. Some of these individuals even devote their lives to ensuring those involved with the Titanic disaster, which took place April 14th-15th of 1912, and one such man was Brian Ticehurst. Ticehurst, 82, who passed away at his Southampton home on November 3d after a long illness, spent much of his life documenting the passengers who lived in the area, as well as bringing their stories into the public light. [click to continue…]

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220px-Cunard_White_Star_Line_LogoThe Golden Age of the White Star line, which gave rise to massive ocean liners like Titanic and Olympic, ended with the sinking of the former, the following inquiry, and the Depression years that were to follow. While the merger with its former chief competitor, Cunard, temporarily saved White Star from vanishing into history,  it seemed that fans of the company would never see the likes of other ships such as Titanic ever again. However, the modern travel company Blue Star Line, owned by Australian business mogul Clive Palmer, has announced that a replica ship, Titanic II, will sail in 2022 and take the same route as her ill-fated predecessor.

1.  Echoes of the Past

When construction on the original Titanic began back in 1909, the buzz around the shipping and ocean liner industry was that she would be the largest and most luxurious ship ever created by man. It would include modern comforts that few ships before it ever had, such as a gym, a full-sized swimming pool, and gourmet meals for those fortunate enough to travel on a first-class ticket. Today, that buzz is ramping up again as Titanic II comes to life at a Chinese shipyard.

Titanic_II Much like the original ocean liner, its builders are boasting about all the modern amenities the ship will have, including the very latest safety and navigation features to prevent the kind of tragedy that befell the original Titanic, including nearly twenty lifeboats that are motor-propelled. One wonders if the ship’s crew will ensure that the crow’s nest binoculars are well in hand before the replica leaves port.

2.  Whispers of a Curse

While some Titanic enthusiasts are excited about the prospect of a new replica ship, others are not so sure whether Palmer is inviting tragedy by replicating the original ship’s route from Southampton in England to New York City. Over 1,500 people died when Titanic sank and there are some who believe that tracing the original path is not only disrespectful to their memories but foolhardy as well. While there as not as many icebergs present in the North Atlantic as there were in 1912, some major glacial monoliths still exist, and they could pose a very real danger to this new Titanic II.

Titanic+in+GantryMuch superstition surrounds maritime disasters, and the speculation about Titanic II’s maiden voyage is no different. There are some people who believe the route is cursed and that Palmer is asking for trouble by not choosing some other path. It is difficult to say what the passengers aboard will feel or experience as the replica sails past the spot where Titanic sank, as so many died there on the night of April 15th, 1912, but it is unlikely that any restless spirits can or will harm this new ship.

3.   A New Golden Age of Sea Travel

If successful, the maiden voyage of Titanic II may spark a new golden age of traveling by ship. The original Titanic was so luxurious that some of the world’s richest men and women clamored to travel aboard her. While the new ship isn’t slated to depart Southampton until sometime in 2022, it is likely that some of today’s most famous actors, musicians, and business-people will want to take part in this momentous trip.

oceanicIt is interesting to speculate what Palmer might attempt if Titanic II becomes a global success. Perhaps he will commission other popular ship replicas that were once the crowned jewels of the White Star Line, such as the Oceanic. It could be that the Blue Star Line becomes the new gold standard of ocean travel and commands a fleet of ships that are as grand of the ships of the 19th and early 20th century were for the people who traveled on them.

 

 

The building of the Titanic II is being met with both excitement and trepidation from people all over the world. Many are asking whether or not Clive Palmer will actually build the legendary ship this second time around.  This is not the first time Palmer has made headlines with this bold plan, but given the fact it has already fizzled out once, will history repeat itself for a second time?  However, no matter what her fate, one thing is for certain: she is no doubt destined to go down in history as one of the most ambitious projects ever attempted in the seafaring industry.

 

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