A REPLICA of the ill-fated liner Titanic will not be coming to Southampton to recreate the original's maiden voyage.

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The copy of the doomed ship, being built by Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, will not retrace Titanic's 1912 route across the Atlantic to New York.

Instead a spokesman for Blue Star Line, the Australian company building the ship, says the ship's first voyage will be from Jiangsu, in eastern China, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Titanic II is being constructed in the CSC Jinling Shipyard in China and was scheduled to set sail in 2016, but the launch of the £300million vessel has been delayed until 2018.

As reported by the Daily Echo in 2013, the cruise liner was meant to travel from Southampton to New York, the same transatlantic crossing undertaken in 1912.

James McDonald, the global marketing director of Blue Star Line, said: "We are not looking for investment from Dubai, as it is a project we are funding ourselves, but we have been in contact with a number of companies based in the Emirates who are looking at utilising opportunities that arises with the project.

"It is people looking to use the opportunity of the trademark and licensing potential of the project. We own the Titanic II name and trademark and people are lining up to be part of it."

Daily Echo:

PICTURED: Clive Palmer

But the new voyage will mean the replica will miss Southampton which played a major part in the ship's tragic history.

More than 500 households in the city lost a family member on board the cruise liner and many locations in the city are deeply connected to the ship.

Dr Rudi Newman, the honorary secretary of the British Titanic Society, said: "If it were to come to Southampton it would cause upset from some families but as a sign of respect to the city as the original destination it ought to go to Southampton.

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"If we look at the Titanic as a machine it was designed to run between Britain and America, specifically Southampton because if you wanted the best crew in 1912 Southampton men were the best.

"In recognising that quality in Southampton and the story they played in the Titanic, it ought to come to Southampton."

Satvir Kaur, Southampton City Council cabinet member for communities, culture and leisure, said: "It is great that someone wants to create a replica of the Titanic and naturally it would make sense for it to do the original voyage.

Daily Echo: Titanic and Southampton

"Since Blue Star Line began talking about this project the dates have also changed so I am hopefully that the location will change again and they will reconsider Southampton."

Mr Palmer is facing scrutiny following the collapse of his company, Queensland Nickel, and entitlements owed to its former employees.

No one from Blue Star Line could be reached for a comment.