Australian tycoon Clive Palmer said Tuesday it was full steam ahead for his plan to build a 21st century version of the Titanic, with 20,000 people expressing interest in the maiden voyage.
There was scepticism when the self-made mining billionaire announced his ambitious plans in April to construct Titanic II with exactly the same dimensions as its ill-fated predecessor, which sank 100 years ago.
But Palmer Tuesday said one of the world's leading ship design and marine engineering companies had now been commissioned to assist with the project.
Finnish-based Deltamarin, which has offices worldwide, will undertake a full review to ensure the vessel will be compliant with all current safety and construction regulations.
It will also ensure that the design criteria laid down by Blue Star Line, which Palmer established, are met.
The work carried out by Deltamarin will enable China's CSC Jinling Shipyard to begin construction of the passenger liner, which will be 270 metres long (885 feet), 53 metres high and weigh 40,000 tonnes.
It will have 840 rooms and nine decks.
Palmer said there had been keen international interest from passengers wanting to be on board the maiden commercial voyage scheduled for 2016 between England and North America.
"More than 20,000 people have registered on Blue Star Line's website expressing an interest in receiving regular updates from us or requesting information on how to secure bookings for Titanic II's maiden voyage," he said.
"Titanic II will be a regular feature on the transatlantic route between the UK and USA," Palmer added.
"This magnificent vessel is being constructed in memory of the heroic people who served on the first ship, as well as the passengers who sadly shared their fate."
SodaHead, a polling opinion website, completed a survey to see who would buy a ticket for the maiden voyage. The results were interesting.
Once build, the Titanic II will re-enact the original ship's maiden voyage. Obviously, Clive Palmer doesn't plan to sink the ship this time -- he'll use state-of-the art engineering and the best navigation systems money can buy -- but to the extent that it's possible (and safe), he wishes to recreate what the Titanic's maiden voyage should have been.
Sodahead asked the public who would be willing to actually board the Titanic II on its first (and hopefully not only) voyage.
This was a close one, but we can't narrow down the reasoning on either side to one thing. There were definitely those who felt uneasy about the idea that Palmer is recreating a voyage that notoriously ended in disaster -- either out of superstition or out of respect for the dead. Others anticipated an exorbitant price tag. One commenter even wrote, "Certain things made in China I would never use, such as a boat." But for nearly half of voters, as long as he doesn't stick too close to the "reenactment" part, they're good to go.
Older People Would Avoid It
While teens and young adults were relatively gung-ho, the older respondents were extremely hesitant. We suspect it had more to do with the appropriateness of it. One commenter wrote, "Kinda feels disrespectful to the memory to actually build a 'Titanic 2.' Not as disrespectful as the 'Titanic 2' movie, but still." (The movie got a 1.8 out of 10 on IMDB.)
Atheists Aren't Afraid
Thought religion didn't make as big a difference as age did, it did play out how you might expect. Not that Christians are necessarily prone to superstition, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a superstitious atheist. And atheists were the most willing to hop on-board the RMS Titanic II. Agnostics, on the other hand, were exactly as hesitant as Christians.
Big Money Bows Out
We saw the issue of money come up a bit, so we thought maybe well-off respondents would be more likely to participate. Not so. Responses were pretty even for most income brackets, but plummeted at $100k+, the highest-earning group. (Admittedly, it was a small group. But isn't it always?) Only 14% of big earners showed interest in going on the cruise.
It was announced on the 30th April, 2012, that Australian Billionaire, Clive Palmer, has commissioned a Chinese Shipyard to built a near replica of the famous ship Titanic!
Like many fans of the ship, I am waiting for more information, pictures and news about the Titanic II.
Below is the information that has been announced already:
However, there are many remaining questions that need to be answered. Here are just a few...
Only time will tell, although one thing is for sure. I simply cannot wait to see Titanic afloat!
Check back for news, photos and information.
Finally, will you be tempted to buy a ticket for the maiden voyage? I know I will.