More than a century after the original Titanic left the city on her ill-fated voyage a full-scale replica is due to make her international debut in Southampton.
According to the new computer generated images, Titanic II, which will be built in one of China’s biggest shipyards, is expected to be as lavish as the former White Star Liner back in 1912.
If successfully completed Titanic II will defy sceptics who said the ship would never be built.
Like her predecessor, Titanic II will have four funnels, a highly unusual feature for 21st century vessels, and mirror the look and outline of the first ship the wreck of which now lies on the bottom of the Atlantic.
The interiors of the new ship are being designed to echo many of the features which caused such a sensation when the former Titanic arrived in the docks more than 100 years ago.
Passengers on Titanic II’s maiden voyage from Southampton to New York will be able to walk down the famous grand staircase, relax in sumptuous public rooms, and dine in ornately decorated restaurants.
Multi-millionaire Professor Clive Palmer, the man behind the project and who will be in Southampton next month, said: “Titanic II has captured the world’s imagination since I announced my shipping company, Blue Star Line, would recreate the famous ship in honour of the 100-year anniversary of the launch and untimely fate of Titanic.
“While just as luxurious as her namesake, Titanic II will have every modern amenity along with 21st century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems.”
Over the decades many similar projects have been announced but all sank without trace, but the Australian mining magnate is determined he will succeed.
Professor Palmer is expected to reveal further details about Titanic II to an audience of specially invited guests from Southampton’s shipping and port industries on Tuesday, March 5.
Appropriately the meeting will be held at the city’s Grand Cafe, which at one time was part of the South Western Hotel where many of Titanic’s first class passengers stayed before embarking on the White Star Line ship back in April, 1912.
A few days before the Southampton event, Mr Palmer is also staging a major press conference in London as part of a global tour to promote Titanic II.
The original Titanic foundered on April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
The loss of Titanic resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people, including hundreds of crew members from Southampton.