Australian billionaire Clive Palmer made his money in mining and is now looking to come out of the ground and head to the open seas by building an exact replica of the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic. Despite this exact scenario being the underlying folly in numerous works of fiction, it completely ignores the fact that the Titanic already had two sequels: Its sister ships Olympic and Britannic.
Palmer plans to have the ocean liner built in China, and is aiming for a transatlantic England to North America crossing sometime in 2016. The cost of the project has not been disclosed, but Palmer says it will be a state-of-the-art cruise liner combining 21st century technology with the opulence of the 20-th century Titanic. Considering that it cost over $570 million to build an even bigger modern cruise ship, the now notorious Costa Concordia, the project is sure to be an expensive.
In addition to hightech navigation, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Palmer’s sequel to Titanic will have a few other structural differences:
The only differences would be found below the water line, he said, and would include a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency and diesel generation, and an enlarged rudder and bow thrusters for improved manoeuvrability [sic].
Aside from those changes, the new Titanic will have the same dimensions, decks, and number of rooms. No word yet if it will carry downtrodden members of the underclass in constricting steerage conditions.
Of course, this completely ignores the near-identical sister ships to the Titanic. Named Olympic and Britannic, these three ships made up the Olympic-class ocean liners. The first of them, the Olympic, was launched in 1910, followed by the Titanic in 1911 and the Britannic in 1914. Though very similar, there were a few minor differences in terms of capacity and quality of accommodations.
Interestingly, the Britannic never carried passengers and was instead used as a hospital ship during the First World War. Like the Titanic, its career was cut short when it struck a mine in the Kea channel in 1916. However, only 30 were killed in that tragedy, compared to the 1,514 that died aboard the Titanic. The Olympic had a long career ending in its decommissioning in 1935.
What’s more, Palmer’s plan is in clear defiance of the established trope of naming any ship “Titanic.” We all know how it goes: Someone builds a space ship or a modernized vessel and calls it Starship Titanic, Titanic II, or “Didanic” and the thing ends up in a black hole or at the bottom of the sea or whatever. I can’t wait to see how this goes.
(via Sydney Morning Herald)