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Mining billionaire builds replica of the Titanic

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The original RMS Titanic.

CRUISES. For Titanic fans who regret they never got the chance to set foot on the decks of the ill-fated ship, a new opportunity is approaching. Announced on April 30, Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer is building a replica of the Titanic which, according to the plans, will undertake its maiden voyage from England to New York some time during 2016, the Bloomberg News agency reports.

“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but … will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” Palmer said in a statement, Newsday reports.

Palmer has signed a first-stage agreement with Nanjing-based CSC Jinling Shipyard of China to build the ship as part of a planned fleet of luxury liners, according to an emailed statement. The Titanic II will have the same dimensions as the original, said Palmer, whose investments include golf courses, hotels, coal and iron-ore mining projects, a nickel smelter, a soccer team and a horse stud. According to Bloomberg News, he also aims to break into the cruising business. There, ships typically cost at least $500 million to build, but at a press conference Palmer did not disclose any figures of the investment.


Billionaire Clive Palmer

The new ship will be powered by diesel, unlike the original which burned coal, but will be fitted with four smoke stacks and, one presumes, more life boats.

Construction of the Titanic in Belfast.

Brett Jardine, general manager for Australia and New Zealand in the industry group International Cruise Council, said to Newsday that Titanic II would be small by modern standards but could prove viable at the top end of the luxury market.

“From a marketing point of view, many will embrace it and perhaps there’ll be some that wouldn’t,” Jardine said.


The Titanic, which was the second of three almost identical White Star liners, made its maiden voyage in 1912 from England with New York as destination. On April 14, she struck an iceberg and sunk in the Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912. Over 1,500 lives were lost.

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.