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Full scale replica of the Titanic will pay tribute to Southampton seamen who died on tragic liner
A full scale replica of the ill-fated liner Titanic will pay tribute to the “heroic courage” of 550 Southampton seamen who drowned more than a century ago, claims the billionaire industrialist building the new vessel.
Professor Clive Palmer, who is spending hundreds of millions of pounds building Titanic II, says the ship will remember all those, both passengers and crew, who died when the original ship struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912.
Titanic II, which is due to arrive in Southampton in three years’ time from the Chinese shipyard where she is to be built, will mirror the luxury, style, and appearance of its predecessor, now lying on the bottom of the Atlantic.
“Titanic II will be a great monument to the heroic courage shown by the British seamen from Southampton who lost their lives, for we should never forget their bravery,” said Professor Palmer, who will be in the city tomorrow to reveal further details of his project.
“This magnificent vessel will pay tribute to the memory of the heroes who served on the ship, the passengers who sadly shared their fate and all those that survived the tragedy.
“It will be a memorial, which will send love out to the families of Titanic.”
Speaking at a press conference in London, Professor Palmer insisted building a replica of Titanic was not just a money-making idea.
Mining magnate Professor Palmer said: “Money wasn’t my primary consideration for this.
“I’m not somebody with no money. I’ve got enough money to build the Titanic ten times over if I wanted.
“But it looks like, unfortunately, I’ll make a lot of money out of it!”
Professor Palmer, known for his maverick style back in his Australian home, said he had already received 40,000 applications from people wanting to be on the first voyage out of Southampton.
Million dollar offers “Some people have even offered one million dollars each to be on the maiden voyage,” said Professor Palmer, who was accompanied by Terry Ismay, the great-great-nephew of Bruce Ismay, chairman and managing director of the White Star Line, which built the original Titanic.
“I predict the new ship will be so successful I might even have to build a Titanic III.”
Professor Palmer, who has faced a great deal of scepticism over his plan, said it was not “just some flash in the pan” idea and that he had already signed a “memorandum of understanding” with a Chinese shipyard to complete the multi-million pound project.
Like its predecessor, Titanic II will be divided into three different classes, although passengers will be able to buy tickets to spend two days in each section of the ship during her passage across the Atlantic.
“When passengers enter their cabins they will find a wardrobe full of Edwardian style clothes for the voyage,” said Professor Palmer.
“We will complete the journey from Southampton to New York that the original Titanic began, but never finished.”
Titanic II, which at 55,800 tons will be more than 10,000 tons bigger than her predecessor, is due to arrive in Southampton in the latter part of 2016.
She will be able to accommodate 2,435 passengers and 900 crew, operate at a service speed of 23 knots, and feature various restaurants, a smoking room, a 400-seater theatre, swimming pool, but no public Internet connection or email facilities.
Asked about the timing of the announcement, after recent crises in the cruise industry such as Costa Concordia, Carnival Triumph and Thomson Majesty, Prof Palmer said: “There will always be human error, of course. People live and people die. The important thing is to do things while you’re alive.”
To read more about the Titanic II and watch a video tour, click here