Titanic II Being Built by Australian Billionare

(Credit: (AP Photo/Bonhams Auction House)
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(Credit: (AP Photo/Bonhams Auction House)

An Australian billionaire is going to be building a 21st century version of the Titanic, the Titanic II, Fox News reports.

The luxury cruise ship will be built in a Chinese shipyard and will sail from South Hampton, England to New York, the same route as the original Titanic.  The Titanic II is expected to sail its maiden voyage in 2016.

The billionaire, Clive Palmer, announced Monday that he will be building a replica of the infamous ship just weeks after the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking.

“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but … will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” Palmer told Fox News. He referred to the project as “a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic.”

More than 1,500 drowned when the Titanic sank on April 14, 1912, leaving only 868 survivors. The “unsinkable” ship ironically sank on her first voyage when she hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. At the time she was the largest and most luxurious cruise ship.

Palmer came into his wealth after finding great success in real estate along Australia’s Gold Coast tourist strip. He later became a coal mining magnate. He is the fifth richest person in the world, worth $5.2 billion according to BRW magazine.

In a news conference, Palmer reportedly explained that previous attempts to replicate the Titanic failed because not enough money was raised. Though he would not say how much the project was costing, Palmer added that he established his own shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty. Ltd. A historical team has been hired to make sure the Titanic II is as close to the original as possible, and construction has begun.

Though the ship will have four smoke stacks, they are purely decorative as the Titanic II will be fueled by diesel instead of coal.

Would you take a cruise on the Titanic II?