It's been just over 100 years since the notorious RMS Titanic met its fate with an iceberg on its maiden voyage, sending it to the bottom of the Atlantic along with over 1,500 passengers. Since then, the doomed passenger liner has become almost a legend, thanks in no small part to James Cameron's blockbuster movie about the disaster. Next to the film though, the Titanic may soon be getting literally its biggest tribute yet (bigger than the world's largest Titanic museum). Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, recently announced plans to construct a life-sized, seaworthy replica of the ship - with some modern upgrades to keep it from sinking of course.
This isn't the first time someone has attempted to rebuild the infamous ship, but these previous plans were unable to raise enough money or secure a shipyard for such a grand undertaking. Palmer on the other hand already has both. As the fifth richest person in Australia, he has over AUD$5 billion in personal wealth from his successful real estate and coal mining businesses to contribute to the project. That along with a fresh agreement with the CSC Jinling Shipyard in China to construct what is being called "Titanic II" along with three other ships ensures that tourists could start booking a trip on the new ship in just a few years.
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Luckily, the Titanic II will mostly resemble its predecessor in look only and avoid the structural problems that led to the first ship's rapid sinking. The design will use modern welding and materials in place of the rivets and faulty steel that are often credited with making the ship vulnerable to a collision. The newer design also incorporates larger rudder and bow thrusters to better maneuver around obstacles and a rounder bow for more fuel efficiency. The insides of the ship will be entirely of the 21st century, with a diesel-fueled engine and modern navigation and safety equipment. The ship will still bear its recognizable four smoke stacks, but these will only be for decoration.
When fully built, the Titanic II will be 270 meters (886 feet) long and capable of holding 1,680 passengers. By modern standards, this is actually fairly small for a cruise ship, especially when compared to newer passenger liners like the behemoth Oasis of the Seas, which measures 360 meters (1,180 feet) long and can hold 5,400 guests.
The Titanic II is set to make the same maiden voyage as the original, traveling from England to New York, by late 2016. And just to state the obvious: let's hope history doesn't repeat itself.
Source: Washington Post