It's been 2 years since Titanic II was announced by Clive palmer in 2013 amid a grand gala announcement party on board the Intrepid in New York City which I declined to go to out of disgust and respect to the victims.
For the record everyone a "Titanic II " project has been in development hell for many years by various entrepreneurs and has never materialized for all the better reasons.
Lets look at the logistics and realistic perspective of this project,
for all you Titanic loyalists out there this is the cold hard truth of everything that has come to play.
Here's a time line of events :
Sarel Gous project (1998–2006)
South African business mogul Sarel Gous proposed building Titanic II in 1998. Gous said he had got hold of the original drawings for the famous ship and now wanted to fulfill his dream. If the ship had been completed, she would have had a length of 290 metres and a width of 33 metres, making her the largest cruise liner in the world.
Gous originally considered constructing the ship in Durban, South Africa. Having commissioned a feasibility study into the project with Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, he presented the proposal to Belfast City Council in June 2000. The project was priced at around £500 million.In November 2000, Gous signed an agreement with a Monaco-based firm to finance the construction of the ship. He stated that construction would begin within the next nine months. The brand name of the company that would operate the Replica Titanic was to be the White Star Line, acting as a revival of the now long defunct shipping line.
From the outset the intention was to build an exact copy but with enough lifeboats. Due to SOLAS regulations, this proved to be impossible to meet. Modern fire-prevention regulations prohibit the large-scale use of wood in the interior. It is also no longer legal to have lifeboats mounted as high as they were on Titanic. Standards now require that life boats be mounted no higher than 15 m (49 ft) above the waterline. A replica Titanic would require a height exemption similar to that granted the RMS Queen Mary 2.
In 2006 the Replica Titanic project was scrapped due to high costs and a low amount of support for the project. The last Titanic survivor, Millvina Dean, had expressed her heavy opposition to the project.
Yes everyone this was the talk of the press when this was out & Popular Mechanics released their study of a replica of Titanic back in 1989 over 24 years ago.
If Clive Palmer wants all the things he says believe me people he's doing nothing but preaching a recipe for failure and a money pit. The main economics of a cruise ship is profitability, a successful marketing strategy & constant consumer base, getting their return investment and ultimately the ship being a success.
The ship has of all names " Titanic." which is recognized by everyone even those who do not follow the cruise line and shipping industry, its embedded in pop culture and the public through TV, movies, books, video games & James Cameron's 1997 Titanic film.
If the ship was built, it would have a very very hard time finding customers, #1 Aside from the grand maiden voyage, after the celebrations, inaugurations etc the ship would have to have its steady customers and compete with the larger ships out there in the industry.
Titanic at its time over 102 years ago was the largest ship in the world at
46,328 GRT & 882 ft long.
The ships of today eclipse Titanic by double to even triple that in tonnage & offer tons of modern amenities.
Also for the record the Transatlantic Liner industry or business as we know it went the way of the dinosaur back in the 60s when the Jet age came and killed the business of Cunard Line, French Line , United States line, Italia Line & many other shipping lines to follow. The QM2 which is the only ocean liner that makes the traditional crossing has its own following and loyal customer base yet changes have been made as the QM2 does now 7-8 day crossings and does not go at her top speed of 28 knots to make it to the UK in 6 days ( its a move to save fuel) & at times the ship is not full.
The ship would also have to appeal to the modern era of passengers, families & seniors alike but with a name like Titanic people would be thinking the ship is cursed or jinked.
No family is gonna want to sail on the Titanic 2 for their Caribbean Vacation for top dollar market price when Carnival, NCL or Disney got a better deal in store and more activities, itineraries and destinations.
A ship like Titanic would stick out like a sore thumb, it would look old fashioned, outdated yet Disney Cruise line has proven that you can make a beautiful ship with an old fashioned design but have the same modern amenities, touch, style and be a hit.
Speaking of Jinked or cursed, that is another sensitive subject I want to deeply emphasize on.
We can all agree with the main fact on the table, the ship is remembered for a horrible disaster where between 1,490 and 1,635 people were killed not in an act of war but an accident and died a horrible, painful and lonely death in the middle of nowhere ( The cold icy North Atlantic Ocean) Aside from the rich, wealthy and famous who were sailing 1st class there were the 2nd and 3rd class passengers, many whom were immigrants seeking a better life in the United States with hopes and dreams suddenly vaporized in a matter of hours.
At that point there were only 2 classes of people aboard the Titanic, the dying and the dead.
Though glorified and romanticized in movies and TV the wealthy and the rich's money was not worth a damn at that moment where they had to fight to stay alive in the middle of mass chaos, hysteria and horrific circumstances.
If it wasn't the ship that killed them it was the ocean that finished the job, the temperature of the water was —2·2°C. There were 2201 people aboard, and all 1489 people who fell into the water were recorded as having drowned. There were 3560 lifebelts aboard the ship, so presumably all those who died were wearing lifebelts; 712 people were able to leave the ship in lifeboats. The rescue ship Carpathia arrived at the site in 1 h 50 min. The crew were able to rescue everyone on board the lifeboats, but all the others were left for dead, even though they were presumably floating with their heads above water.
( Though glorified in James Cameron's version as Rose surviving among a sea of dead passengers after DiCaprio dies and slips beneath the waves in reality they would have both died of hypothermia. )
“Even if you are a good swimmer, you would not have time to make it. “
In all these people went through hell and beyond, the survivors who lived to tell about it were the lucky ones yet no one talks about what these people had to go through after the fact, the post traumatic stress and having to live with the horror of loosing their loved ones, friends and having to relive the horror. For the deceased and their families , though never talked about in detail they are the one's who had it the worse knowing their loved ones will never come back and they'll never see them again. They never and will not have peace, the victims will never rest in peace.
The point I'm getting at is Clive Palmer is not only planning a crazy idea in it of itself but is committing the heinous crime of making a killing off of the deceased victims of this disaster.
Yes Titanic has been glorified to death but this is overkill, this draws the line in profiting of a major tragedy by resurrecting an infamous ship from the dead.
It's the poor taste of doing it and it is no wonder and surprise why the project never got off the planning stages and the drawing board.
I'm going to make a few examples:
What if the Italia line instead of Calling their new super liners Raffello and Michelangelo what if they gave them the names Rex 2 and the Andrea Doria 2
What if Cunard Line decided back years ago to build a Lusitania II in memory of the 1,198 victims killed as a symbol of national patriotism and national pride.
In warships what if the JMSFD decided to name a ship Yamato in memory of the infamous Battleship Yamato which was destroyed in operation ten go with the loss of over 3,055 men killed aboard Yamato alone, they were sent to their deaths against impossible odds on what is the largest suicide mission in history. Over 4,250 men were killed in operation Ten Go in total.
Last but not least what if a cruise company or any independent entrepreneur wanted to resurrect the Wilhelm Gustloff which remains the worst maritime disaster/war crime in history with the loss of over 9,000 people when it was torpedoed by a Soviet Submarine.
No one would dread resurrect these ships from the dead because of the dark history behind them and the moral principle of just letting them rest in peace.
Now lets talk about ships that are worth resurrecting which have illustrious history and have left great legacies for decades such as RMS Olympic, Mauretania, Aquitania, SS France/SS Norway, Michealangelo & Raffello, SS Europa & SS Bremen, SS Île de France, SS Paris, Independence and Constitution.
Yes they are all beautiful ships, one could dream of sailing on a replica of the Noramdie which to this day stands as one of the most beautiful liners ever yet her life was cut short by WW2 & a horrible accident.
I would love to sail on a replica of the Île de France, Olympic, Mauretania or Canberra but deep down inside I know that could not be possible, realistically its possible to rebuild a ship as long as you have the blueprints and make all the modern modifications but the market for these ships is dead and they would not survive in the heavy competition of the modern world. They would be unique and a beauty to behold for the modern world to see but they would be merely like Peter Knego beautifully said " It would be a Disney land version of it."
Remember these ships had some of the finest craftsmen of their time , they were ships of state and they would not be the same as their originals.
You can say they would be ahead of their time or reborn relics.
In a nutshell I could actually see Clive's plan work but not in the way as originally planned but in the concept of something of the SS John W. Brown & the SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Imagine if instead of the Titanic he renamed the ship Olympic and made it a historical looking ship with all the same modern amenities and used it on theme cruises. It would be a hit, private parties, charters would love it but at the same time keeping the legend alive, it could be a traveling maritime museum.
In closure, I think Titanic 2 should never be built and Clive should just let the victims rest in peace,
if he is really hell bent on doing it he should reconsider and change his plans to make this pipe dream a viable endeavor and take lessons from successful projects like the ones I mentioned.