Australian mining mogul Clive Palmer announced plans for the Titantic II, a brand-new, historically accurate replica of the Titantic, at a press conference Tuesday, and he’s got his heart set on having the 2,435-passenger vessel set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in 2016. As the famous song goes, “near, far, wherever you are, the heart must go on” — icebergs be damned.
The ship’s lead designer, Markku Kanerva, promises the Titantic II will match the original design of the 1912 vessel. Voyagers will be able to don period costumes. And to mimic early 20th century social hierarchy, first-class passengers won’t be able to spend any time with meddlesome Leonardo DiCaprios in second or third class. Palmer says there will be some technological upgrades, such as air conditioning and modern navigation, but he does hope to ban all television and Internet — which means no Snapchats from the top of the world.
But the announcement comes during a bad month for cruise lines. A Carnival cruise ship recently spent five days floating at sea in filthy conditions after an engine-room fire crippled the ship. Five people died and three were injured in the Canary Islands after a lifeboat fell off a Spanish cruise ship. And let’s not forget the roughly 1,500 people who died a century ago when an iceberg took down the “unsinkable” Titanic during its maiden voyage from Liverpool to Long Island.
While Palmer admitted that “anything will sink if you put a hole in it,” he thinks climate change is on his side this time, joking that there are fewer icebergs floating around in the ocean nowadays. (And unlike the original ship, there will also be enough lifeboats this time, should anything go wrong.)
Palmer has already received offers in the million-dollar range from wannabe passengers, but given his sizable wealth (Forbes estimates his worth at $795 million, though he calls himself a billionaire), Palmer is considering keeping the pricetag down.
“We aren’t going to divulge the cost because I have enough money to pay for it,” Palmer said at the press conference. “Cost isn’t what it is about. It’s about creating a memory of the Titanic.” We already feel like we’re flying.