If you like testing your luck when traveling, it may be time to book your voyage on Titanic II. That’s right, a replica of the famous doomed ocean liner will be setting sail in 2018 and offering passengers an inside look at what life was like in 1912. For students of history or fans of Leonardo DiCaprio and the 1997 movie Titanic, this ship is a must-see experience.
You’ve likely heard the story before: the most famous ship in the world was declared “unsinkable” before its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1912, but disaster struck when the original Titanic hit an iceberg and killed 1,503 people. Titanic infamously didn’t have enough lifeboats for all passengers on board. The ship sunk to the bottom of the ocean and has been the subject of numerous dives, investigations, books, documentaries, and of course, the famous movie.
Titanic’s allure and prominence in history comes from a variety of factors: the opulence of the ship, the novelty of the largest and best ocean liner at the time, the unpredictable nature of its run-in with the iceberg, and the many storied passengers it carried, to name a few. The new Titanic hopes to capitalize on the history and interest of the original to create an experience that is like stepping back in time, but with the safety and modern features of today.
Titanic II is the brainchild of Australian businessman and politician Clive Palmer and his cruise line, Blue Star Line. The ship was originally announced in 2012 with plans to set sail in 2016, but it was later pushed back to 2018. Titanic II will embark on its maiden voyage in 2018 when it travels from Eastern China to Dubai, India. The new ship is a near-perfect recreation of the original Titanic, down to the final measurements—Titanic II will have nearly identical length, height, and weight, but it will be 13 feet wider than the original ship. In total, Titanic II has the capacity for 2,400 passengers and 900 crew in 840 cabins over nine floors. The ship is being built by world-famous building company CSC Jinling, based in China.
Just like the original Titanic, Titanic II will feature Turkish baths, a smoking room, an Edwardian gym, and the famous wood-paneled grand staircase. The idea is to give guests an inclusive experience so they can feel like they are stepping foot on board the original Titanic. There is even rumor that each passenger will receive a period costume to wear on a designated day on board the ship. Just like in 1912, passengers can purchase tickets to travel in first, second, or third class. Guests have options to purchase tickets for a single class or two split their voyage up with two nights each in first class, second class, and third class. Third class cabins will reportedly feature shared bathrooms and serve Irish stew with Irish drum music, just like things were on the original Titanic.
Lower deck cabins will be similar to modern cruise ship cabins on other cruise lines, but everything from Deck D on up will be a near-perfect recreation of the original ship, down to the furniture finishes, details, and artwork.
One of the biggest upgrades from the original ship is in safety. Titanic II will have enough lifeboats for everyone on board, a major improvement over the original ship. The new ship also features the best modern safety features and even a helipad.
“The new Titanic will of course have modern evacuation procedures, satellite controls, digital navigation and radar systems and all those things you’d expect on a 21st-century ship,” said James McDonald, global marketing director of Palmer’s company Blue Star Line.
And just because Titanic II is a replica of the original ship doesn’t mean it extends to the boiler room. Instead of the original coal-fired boilers, Titanic II will use powerful, modern diesel drivers. Although there will be a replica rudder, it will only be decorative, and the new ship will be propelled with a trio of azimuth thrusters. The hull will also be welded instead of riveted, which means it wouldn’t crack nearly as easily as the original in the incredibly slim chance the ship does hit an iceberg.
For on-board entertainment, guests will be able to head to the new “safety deck”, which will feature a casino, shops, and a large theater, plus a hospital. The modern conveniences and old-world charm and details don’t come cheap—Titanic II is estimated to cost between USD$395 million and $525 million (£300million to £400million). Don’t rush to make vacation plans, though—construction has yet to begin on the ship.
If you want to make the historic voyage and step back in time, you still have a few years to plan. But it may be time to start saving your pennies—although official prices haven’t been announced, the cruise line says it has had offers of up to $1 million per passenger.
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