In what could be either the greatest sea tourism idea of all time or the worst sea tourism idea of all time, Blue Star Line, owned by Australian billionaire and professor Clive Palmer, is working on a replica of the Titanic called Titanic II. The ship is scheduled to set sail in 2016 and is meant to "help you pretend you are in the movie," according to Palmer.
Addressing the elephant in the room at a press conference today, Palmer did not at all assuage peoples's concerns when he said: "Anything will sink if you put a hole in it."
"I'm not super-superstitious," he said. "We are staying true to the original Titanic and a lot of those designs and full experience that never saw the light of day, but there will be some updates too." But Palmer also explained that the company is working on preventing worst-case scenarios, and a Blue Line representative said pretty much exactly what shipbuilders said in 1912, that "It will be the most safe cruise ship in the world when it launches."
People who don't realize that this is not the real Titanic have already offered to pay $1 million to be on the first voyage, which will follow the same route as the ill-fated ship that sailed from Southhampton, England to New York. But, says Palmer, "We aren't going to divulge the cost because I have enough money to pay for it. Cost isn't what it is about. It's about creating a memory of the Titanic."
Part of that memory, apparently, is enforcing a class system on board the ship. Passengers will also be encouraged to wear 1920's era costumes, and will remain in their class quarters (though they'll get to switch roles every few days). "The area [for] passengers will be authentic with the same design and facilities," says Palmer. But he concedes his standards when it comes to modern-day conveniences, adding, "There will be modern things such as air conditioning and other features we are debating, such as Internet on the ship."
And passengers can rest assured that the ship, which will carry 2,600 passengers in 850 cabins and an additional 900 crew members, will have enough lifeboats for everyone on board. But let's be honest: in 2016, when there are virtually no more icebergs to hit, the real risk will be swimming in your own feces off the coast of Mexico.