Billionaire-funded Titanic II ready to cruise the seas in 2016

Credit: Blue Star Line

Billionaire Clive Palmer's Titanic II, a replica of the original RMS Titanic that collided with an iceberg in 1912 and claimed over 1,500 lives, will recreate the "unsinkable" ship's epic voyage in 2016. Only this time, it'll start from Shanghai, China and sail to Southampton, England before arriving in New York, hopefully in one piece.

The new ship will be built by CSC Jinling Shipyard, a Chinese state-owned company in Nanjing, China and will be operated by Palmer's Blue Star Line (a parallel to the original Titanic's White Star Line). The ship is expected to carry 2,600 passengers (including the 900 crew members) and will have 18 motorized lifeboats capable of carrying 150 people each, as well as two life rafts that can carry 400 people. In comparison, the original Titanic only had 20 lifeboats (14 that could carry 65 people, four that could carry 47 people and two that could carry 40 people) for its 2,200 passengers. 

The Titanic II will be faithful to the original ocean liner's aesthetic (including Turkish baths, a grand staircase, etc.), but will be three inches longer. It'll also have a few modern upgrades, including air conditioning. According to Mashable, Palmer said there won't be TVs in the rooms, and is considering not including Internet as well, just to be extra authentic.

Palmer's vision for the Titanic II isn't just to rebuild the ship, he also wants to recreate that moment of time by including 1912-style clothing to "help you pretend you are in [James Cameron's 1997 movie Titanic]." Um, sure. Passengers will also once again be separated into "classes" (first, second, and third) and will not be permitted to intermingle, although Palmer says he's considering packages that would allow them to try out the different classes during a six-day trip across the Atlantic.

Over 40,000 people have shown interest in cruising on the Titanic II, and 16 people are reportedly willing to pay between $750,000 and $1 million per cabin, reports CBS New York. Ticket prices for the Titanic II have not been announced yet. For Palmer's sake, we hope disaster doesn't strike when the ship is ready for her maiden voyage in 2016.

Blue Star Line, via Mashable and New York Times

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