A life-size replica of the iconic Titanic is set to undertake a two-week maiden voyage to Dubai in 2022, before beginning regular weekly voyages between the United Kingdom and New York (the same route as the original Titanic), according to Australian billionaire Clive Palmer who is financing the US$500 million project. “After a shakedown cruise from the shipyard to Singapore, we’ll offer a two-week maiden voyage to Dubai, with another grand voyage from Dubai to Southampton,” revealed Palmer, speaking to Cruise Arabia & Africa. The exact replica, which is currently under construction in the Chinese province of Sichuan, is the brainchild of Blue Star Line, the same company that created the original, ill-fated ship that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912 after crashing into an iceberg on its voyage to New York.
The idea of creating a functioning replica of the doomed ocean liner has been tinkered around with many times, especially after James Cameron’s 1997 epic, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as ill-fated maritime lovers and shattered box office records and teenage hearts.
First announced in 2012, the Titanic II’s design was first unveiled at gala events in China, the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, where it was revealed that the replica will feature dining rooms, cabins, a ballroom, theatre, and swimming pool identical to those on the original vessel. “Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience, providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layout as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st century technology to produce the highest levels of luxurious comfort,” Palmer added. There will also be more modern features such as wifi. The ship is said to be able to accommodate 2,400 passengers and 900 crew members.
The 2022 launch date means the ship will begin operating exactly 110 years after the RMS Titanic first set sail.