Australia: the Titanic is back

TRANSLATED BY CORALIE FRACHISSE AND PROOFREAD BY CHARLOTTE FORD

For the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, an Australian billionaire announced that an identical replica of the mythical luxury liner would be built. This copy would make its maiden journey… following the same route as its predecessor! Explanation of a titanic project.

The story begins in April 2012 with the Australian billionaire Clive Palmer. He wants to build an exact replica of the Titanic, the famous “unsinkable” ship that yet sank in the Atlantic Ocean after it hit an iceberg in April 1912.

“Identical” but modern

According to the plans announced, the Titanic II would hold 2,400 passengers and 900 crew members, about the same capacity as the original mythical liner. The inside layout would respect the esthetic codes of the beginning of the 20th century with its 835 cabins, ball rooms, suites, restaurants, private rooms but also smoking rooms, Turkish baths and massive stairs. A casino and a theater would be added to this quite impressive abundance, still following the estheticism of the 1910s.

However, in terms of the actual safety procedures, there will be some modernizations: an improvement of the hull, a diesel engine (the external chimneys will only be decorative), radars and an extra deck with enough lifeboats for all the passengers in case of emergency…. to name only a few of the planned improvements. The cost is estimated at 500 million dollars.

An iceberg called Brexit?

The construction began mid-2012, in China, in Jiangsu province, not far from Shanghai, under a contract with the CSC Jingling Shipyard society. The launch was planned for 2016, but in 2015, because of a delay in the schedule and as some construction protocols were not respected by the Chinese company, the Australian society Blue Star Line encountered financial difficulties.

Blue Star Line eventually decided to sue the Chinese company to get their funds back. The verdict was delivered in their favor in 2017. This allowed them to relaunch the construction in September 2018 on a different naval site, in Dubai, where the ship will cast off to go all the way to Southampton, England before sailing to New York following the same route as her ancestor. The next ambitious project for the boat is to “circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivaled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits” Clive Palmer said.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Another twist for the Australian society that had planned to open its European headquarters in London, a city that is now outside of the EU. In his declaration on October 22 in Brisbane, Australia, Clive Palmer announced that because of Brexit, he had been forced to  consider the shifting its future European office to Paris:“it is of little use having a European headquarters outside Europe’’. Palmer added that “the decision will mean that we won’t open our European office until March 2019, with Paris being ideally placed to suit the company’s needs”.The 2016 maiden voyage is now postponed to 2022.

Let’s hope the project turns out well and does not end up sinking before it even casts off.

Banner photo credits: Roderick Eime.

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