The controversial project to build a replica of RMS Titanic and sail her on regular cruises between Southampton and New York has resumed, Chairman of Blue Star Line Clive Palmer said in London this week.
The Blue Star Line is a new company founded by the Australian billionaire and will own and operate the ship, a nearly identical replica of the most famous ship of all time, RMS Titanic. She is also still scheduled to cruise from Dubai.
Initially announced in 2012, the US $500-million project was meant to see the ship launched in China in 2016, with a cruise from Dubai planned for 2018.
“We’re still going to cruise from Dubai,” says Clive Palmer. “After a shakedown cruise from the shipyard to Singapore, we’ll offer a two-week maiden voyage to Dubai, with another grand voyage from Dubai to Southampton.”
These repositioning cruises will get the ship to her intended homeport of Southampton, from which Palmer intends to have her cruise weekly between the UK and New York, just as White Star Line intended for RMS Titanic.
“Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience, providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layout as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st century technology to produce the highest level of luxurious comfort,” says Palmer.
He said that the launch date for the ship had now been moved from 2018 to 2022, meaning she will be launched exactly 110 years after the original RMS Titanic.
While the Southampton-New York run will be bread-and-butter during the summer months, Palmer said that she would also undertake World Cruises during the rest of the year, with Dubai as a regular port of call.
“The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivalled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits,” he said.
The ship is being built as close of a replica to the original Titanic as possible, according to Cruise Fever, with the addition of modern safety features, such as a welded rather than riveted hull, modern lifeboats and digital navigation, satellite, and radar systems.
The ship will also be diesel-powered rather than coal-fired, but the four iconic smoke stacks will remain.
Dining rooms will be modelled meticulously after the original, with passengers eating food from the same menu as the ill-fated ship.
There will be nine decks and 840 staterooms that can accommodate 2,400 passengers and 900 crew members.
Passengers will buy first, second, and third class tickets just like the original. There will be a swimming pool, gymnasiums, and Turkish bath.