Titanic II, the near-replica of the ill fated liner, is planned to debut on the North Atlantic in April 2024, a source close to the project told CruiseBusiness.com.
Clive Palmer, the Australian businessman who set up a company called Blue Star Line to deliver the vessel, resumed work on the project last autumn and it is about to invite tenders from shipyards to built the 65,000 gross ton ship.
Originally, the plan was to build the vessel at the Jingling shipyard in China, but Blue Star Line has opened the bidding to any shipyard interested in the project, the source said.
The ship is currently planned to set sail from Southampton in the UK for New York on 10 April 2024, exactly 112 years after the first Titanic’s maiden voyage.
The source CruiseBusiness.com spoke to said that Palmer has an in-depth knowledge of the original Titanic and that he wants to incorporate as many original features in the new vessel as possible.
The 1912 ship had open berth dormitory accommodation in the third class and it is not known if e.g. the authorities in the US would allow the use of such facilities today.
If the answer is negative, then a small area of such accommodation would be built and instead of being used as sleeping accommodation, it would be used to show passengers how some people traveled in the days before the First World War.
The new ship will have two bridges, one with 1912 equipment and the other with modern day ones. The first named would be open for passengers to visit, but it would not be used for navigation. This would be done from the other bridge with modern equipment.
Modern safety regulations mean that certain changes have been made to the design of the new vessel compared to the original one. In addition, modern technology means that only one funnel is actually required, bit four will be fitted on the vessel in an effort to maintain as authentic external appearance as possible.
The top of each funnel would be painted black and in one of the funnels, a café is planned. Darkened windows would not compromise the external appearance of the vessel, while the passengers would have a view of the vessel’s upper decks and the sea from this location.