Australian billionaire constructing life-sized replica of the Titanic


May 1, 2012

A wealthy Australian businessman has announced plans to build a cruise ship modeled after the infamous Titanic, but with modern upgrades

A wealthy Australian businessman has announced plans to build a cruise ship modeled after the infamous Titanic, but with modern upgrades

It's been just over 100 years since the notorious RMS Titanic met its fate with an iceberg on its maiden voyage, sending it to the bottom of the Atlantic along with over 1,500 passengers. Since then, the doomed passenger liner has become almost a legend, thanks in no small part to James Cameron's blockbuster movie about the disaster. Next to the film though, the Titanic may soon be getting literally its biggest tribute yet (bigger than the world's largest Titanic museum). Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, recently announced plans to construct a life-sized, seaworthy replica of the ship - with some modern upgrades to keep it from sinking of course.

This isn't the first time someone has attempted to rebuild the infamous ship, but these previous plans were unable to raise enough money or secure a shipyard for such a grand undertaking. Palmer on the other hand already has both. As the fifth richest person in Australia, he has over AUD$5 billion in personal wealth from his successful real estate and coal mining businesses to contribute to the project. That along with a fresh agreement with the CSC Jinling Shipyard in China to construct what is being called "Titanic II" along with three other ships ensures that tourists could start booking a trip on the new ship in just a few years.

Luckily, the Titanic II will mostly resemble its predecessor in look only and avoid the structural problems that led to the first ship's rapid sinking. The design will use modern welding and materials in place of the rivets and faulty steel that are often credited with making the ship vulnerable to a collision. The newer design also incorporates larger rudder and bow thrusters to better maneuver around obstacles and a rounder bow for more fuel efficiency. The insides of the ship will be entirely of the 21st century, with a diesel-fueled engine and modern navigation and safety equipment. The ship will still bear its recognizable four smoke stacks, but these will only be for decoration.

When fully built, the Titanic II will be 270 meters (886 feet) long and capable of holding 1,680 passengers. By modern standards, this is actually fairly small for a cruise ship, especially when compared to newer passenger liners like the behemoth Oasis of the Seas, which measures 360 meters (1,180 feet) long and can hold 5,400 guests.

The Titanic II is set to make the same maiden voyage as the original, traveling from England to New York, by late 2016. And just to state the obvious: let's hope history doesn't repeat itself.

Source: Washington Post

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

At least it will create jobs, such a shame he did not want to build it in the original shipyard.


Doesn't this show lack of respect for Titanic's arrogant stupidity and avarice's victims?

Edgar Castelo

Actually the rivets had nothing to do with the sinking. A combination of bad steel in the hull and frame, an undersized rudder, and the command crew not trained in Titanic specific emergence evasion maneuvers sank the Titanic. Fixing just one would have prevented the tragedy.


Re; Slowburn

The Lucitania, the Titanics sister ship sailed on until 1915 with the same defects. Perhaps not hitting an Iceburg helped.


Re; Edgar Castelo

Any vessel made after the Great Eastern would have sunk, which is the only known civillian ship of that era - or perhaps this, which would have survived (Double hulls). The entire passenger ship industry was as culpable as the White Star Line. It is just that the White Star line happened to have the shipwreck which killed the most rich and famous of all time on the ships Maiden Voyage.


It's Clive's BS project as he tries to gain publicity in Australia before he runs in Wane Swan's seat (current Australian treasurer). The only thing titanic that Clive has managed is the size of his own behind which if it were fracked would power Queensland for years!

Yani Haigh

Re; Slowburn and L1ma

One theory I heard regarding the rivets was that the last few watertight compartments that were breached did so because the ends of the rivets holding the metal plates together were just sheared off as they were ground against the iceberg. Unlike the first few compartments where the metal was torn apart, the last few simply ripped open at the seams. Had somebody gone down there and shoved an improvised plug into the burst seams and concentrated all pumps on those compartments, the ship would have been able to stay afloat long enough for rescue to arrive.

I've also heard that if the ship were to just have directly rammed the iceberg it also would have kept floating much longer

Forward Thinker

The Titanic's sister ships were Olympic and Britannic. The Lusitania was the sister ship of the Mauretania.

Jonathan Jenkins

I can understand using modern technology to keep it safe. Will the interior be similar to the original Titanic? Would any part of the interior be similar to the original? It would be neat if at least some part of the interior was at least inspired by the original.


Sick I think. RIP Isn't Mr Palmer the Queensland right wing tycoon saying that the USA government controls the Australian Green Party? Flash-in-the-pan political hopeful I'd suggest.


Given big Clive's recent expose on outside influence, if the T2 does sink it will be of course a CIA plot! Won't matter though, Clive will probably have an inflated insurance policy to be a big winner. Always interesting to see another Billionaire Australian ignoring his home base for construction :-)

Strategic Futurist

Re: Slowburn & Forward Thinker

A docco recently aired for the anniversary said that the rivets DID have a lot to do with the sinking: use of soft iron rivets, manually installed in the bow, where the tool for installing steel ones didnt fit; didnt help that the iron was lower grade than would normally be used, with slag inclusions that made it weak in the loading plane. Bow of ship hit berg, and unzipped rivets at boiler room level. However, the same docco did highlight a lot of things, from fundamental to seemingly trivial , any one of which being different would have changed the outcome.


I have often marveled at my own genius and the the stupidity of others...

In the Titanic - never mind all the moron acts that created the crash... but also the moron acts AFTER the crash.

I have thought, "Yes it's too late NOW - but IF I had of been there, I would have synched the report of the gash up the side, with a decision to lower MATTRESS's over the side along the length to plug the leak up." - At least to the level that the pumps can over come.

It just I think.... "Got a leak? Plug it up."

Actually to me it was pretty poorly handled in terms of disaster control - "Noooo don't plug the leak with all sorts of crap - just let the ship fill up with water and sink!"

Mr Stiffy

Titanic II? ... hhmm???

The first three letters says it all, in relation to the project leader! Really, why would one think that is a investment. I can just see the banks rolling up not to insure it, unless their is knowledge that no one would really want to be aboard it anyway... thus, reducing payment, if something did go drastically wrong.

I guess the positive thing is that the artic is getting warmer, and the chance of meeting a huge solid iceberg mass is minimum ... and who said Global warming is bad!

For those interested in still climbing aboard ... bring a life jacket, saterlite phone and a flask i say ... lol!


Harpal Sahota.

Harpal Sahota

It would be neat if at least some of the rooms have the retro-Titanic inspired look/decor. That would be really cool. I am glad the design is retro; old outside but modern mechanicals inside.


The Oasis of the Sea is NOT a passenger liner, she is a cruise ship. There is a major difference. Passenger Liners, like today's Queen Mary 2, are built for rougher seas and more specifically traversing the North Atlantic seas, even in winter. By contrast, a cruise ship is designed for calmer tropical or sub-tropical waters. The stability characteristics and overall design are very different. The Titanic II will be small, even compared to the QE2, but a comparison to the Oasis of the Seas is a misrepresentation of her design. Their are very few true liners left, even of this size.

Tyler Totten

I would also hope that the new Titanic has enough lifeboats and that they are a modern design to protect the passengers from the elements. One big problem with the original Titanic was that the builders were so cocky that the ship was unsinkable, they provided only half as many lifeboats as they should have.


Coming up next: Not to be outdone, the Germans are building a "modern" version of the Hindenburg.

Problem- As man has devoured the world's helium supply in order to sound funny when talking at parties and to entertain his children with toy balloons, it's looking like hydrogen may have to be used again.

Certification is appearing to pose quite a problem....


In my early post, not QE2, QM2, my mistake.

Tyler Totten

re; L1ma

Correcting the under performing rudder or having the bridge crew trained to the point that they did not stop the center screw when making emergency evasion maneuvers would have prevented the collision. Inexcusably the RMS Olympic (an actual sister to Titanic) rammed the Nantucket Lightship in 34 making the same orders to reverse engines and rudder hard over. Fortunately on seven people died as a result of this crash. ............................................................................................................................

re; Tyler Totten

Tropical and sub-tropical waters produce storms every bit as nasty as the North Atlantic even if it is not as often. A cruise ship is a passenger liner although with the cost of air travel so low modern liners don't have a cattle-car class and they apparently don't usually carry general cargo any more despite that with modern cargo handling it could be a profitable sideline especially with perishables to small resort islands.


I wonder if they'll ban anyone named Molly Brown from going on its maiden voyage? A woman by that name was on the Titanic, survived the sinking, then was on the Britannic when it was sunk in the Mediterranean and finally was on the Olympic when it rammed the Nantucket lightship.

Gregg Eshelman

It is a disaster to recreate a disaster!


re; Gregg Eshelman

Molly brown did survive the sinking of the Titanic and because of her rags to riches story and forceful personality and some would say shameless self aggrandizing everybody has heard of her. but she is innocent of your charge. It was Violet Jessup who was present at all three incidences. ..............................................................................................................................

re; Griffin

Hydrogen was not the cause of the Hindenburg crash nor would have helium greatly reduced the severity.

Stories of the impending running out of helium are false and misleading.


Re; Forward Thinker

According to some reports most of the crew were fighting a bunker fire at the time by shoveling the burning embers into the furnace, hence running at top speed. The odds are that with two emergencies in the bunker room there was one too many.

Re; Slowburn

I dont always get my names right; I am getting on ;)


re; Forward Thinker

The Titanic's crew tried to stop the leaks. However if they had use the available large, well rested, and motivated labor force to dump all the table tops, bedding, carpets and any other available fabric over the side over the damaged hull and carry every buoyant object (this includes dumping all the wine, beer and, liqueur and resealing the containers) as deep and as far forward as possible into the flooding compartments they would have delayed the sinking perhaps even permanently. It did however take me longer to come up with the ideas than it took the Titanic to sink so I am laying no blame for that.

Assuming that the bad steel did not shatter the length of the ship from the impact of directly ramming the iceberg the Titanic might have floated indefinitely. But the death rate might have been higher when everybody hit the bulkhead that had suddenly stopped in front of them. Being next to the forward bulkhead just means you get hit by everything else in the compartment that was not tied down.


Clive Palmer says a lot of crazy things and follows through with only a few of them, so i will believe it when i see it Clive!

I don't see the point in creating a replica that will not actually be very similar to the original.

And whatever happened to Titanic's sister ship that never gets a mention?

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