The billionaire building Titanic II, an exact replica of the ill-fated liner, said the vessel will be a living memorial to hundreds of Southampton crew members who died in the disaster.

Australian mining magnate, Professor Clive Palmer, who is constructing a full-size copy of the ship which sank after striking an iceberg in 1912, said the new vessel will remember nearly 550 seafarers from Southampton who drowned in the Atlantic.

“This magnificent vessel is to be constructed in memory of the heroic people who served on the ship, the passengers who sadly shared their fate and all those that survived the tragedy,” said Professor Palmer speaking in London today (SATURDAY).

“Through the rebuilding of the ship I want to recognize the artists and artisans whose skill, creativity and dexterity has never to this day been fully acknowledged because of the ship’s limited service.”

Titanic II, which will be built in China, is promised to be as equally luxurious as the original White Star Line ship of more than 100 years ago.

Professor Palmer, who would not be drawn on how much it will cost to build the new vessel, said “the Titanic was a ship of dreams” and “Titanic II will be the ship where dreams come true”.

The industrialist added that he had received an overwhelming response from prospective passengers who want to travel on Titanic II.

He predicted that the ship will be so successful that he will “have to build Titanic III”.

According to Professor Palmer, Titanic II will be 883 feet long and weigh 55,800 gross tons, while the original vessel was one foot shorter, and about 9,000 tons less.

She will carry a maximum of 2,435 passengers and 900 crew members, almost the same as the first Titanic, and include a gymnasium, Turkish baths, a squash court, a swimming pool, a theatre and a casino.

Titanic II first voyage is scheduled for 2016 and will be from Shanghai, China to Southampton, and then on to New York.