Titanic II, the multi-million pound replica of Southampton's ill-fated liner, will set sail from the city on her maiden voyage in 2016.

The date was announced by the Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, who is funding the construction of the ship, when he revealed that detailed plans and designs for the vessel will be made public in New York in a few weeks time.

Mining magnate, Palmer, said: “The first voyage remains set for 2016, with the ship due to sail from China, where she will be built, to Southampton ahead of her maiden passenger crossing to New York.''

The businessman intends to hold a gala dinner on the retired aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in New York harbour on Tuesday, December 4, where guests will be treated to a dinner from the same menu as Titanic passengers on the day she sank in April, 1912.

At the event further features of the new ship will be disclosed although it is already known the vessel will mirror her predecessor's dimensions, measuring 885 feet long, and more than 173 feet high, and weighing 40,000 tonnes.

Titanic II will have 840 cabins and nine decks and retain the first, second and third-class divisions of the original White Star liner, which sank, 100 years ago, with the loss of 1,500 lives after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage.

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