Come April each year, there is bound to be some mention of the Titanic — the greatest ship ever built. It was touted as being unsinkable, so much so that the ship’s operator–White Star Line–did not think it necessary to have an adequate number of life boats on board. The Titanic’s maiden voyage began on 10 April 1912, and as luck would have it, it would also be its last. It struck an iceberg five days later and in less than three hours, the “unsinkable” ship sank to the depths of the Atlantic.
The Titanic was a titan no doubt. Its length spanned 882 feet and it was 106 feet wide. However, when pitted against the ship that recently blocked the Suez Canal, the Titanic was much smaller. The Ever Given–that was stranded sideways in the canal–was an enormous 1312 feet in length and 194 feet wide.
The story always evokes curiosity
In 1998, renowned film maker James Cameroon immortalised the Titanic’s story. The namesake film went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. With it, interest around the fabled ship only grew stronger.
And while most were interested, there was one person who possibly grew fascinated with the Titanic. Clive Palmer, an Australian politician and billionaire, initiated building of the Titanic II in 2013. The project suffered several delays but it seems on track for a 2022 launch. The initial project cost was pegged at $500 million. The original was built at a cost of $7.5 million. Adjusted for time, the cost would total an estimated $400 million currently.
This second iteration will be a near exact replica of the original with identical dimensions and interior details. Even the grand staircase that was part of the original–and depicted in the film too–will be a part of Titanic II. Interestingly, the holding company is called Blue Star Line. The ship will also set sail from Southampton to New York, just like the original did with the same number of passengers on board. The original had a reported 2400 passengers among its first, second and third class traveler segments.
“Safety” on account of global warming
There is, however, one facet that will not be identical. Titanic II will have an adequate number of lifeboats and so far, there are no “unsinkable” claims being made either. At the same time, there is also speculation whether Palmer’s project will actually see the light of day next year, as claimed. Certain naysayers are calling the project as having already “sunk even before setting sail”.
However, if Blue Star Line does succeed in making the ocean liner a reality, there will certainly be thousands making a beeline for a reservation aboard this second iteration. There was one particular cynical meme that I came upon recently. It read the Titanic II will be absolutely safe to travel aboard because there will be no icebergs on the Atlantic to collide into. They’re all molten apparently, thanks to global warming!