Millennium Post

Setting sail again!

That a tragedy, made even starker on screen, could inspire and impact a re-enactment of the real thing was unthinkable until a few years ago. But commercial interests weigh more. So, the Titanic would set sail again. Just like Celine Dion sang back in 1997, the travel project will "go on and on." Australian businessman and politician Clive Palmer, who is behind the controversial initiative, announced that work on the ship had recommenced after a financial dispute with the Chinese government halted development back in 2015. The idea was first floated in 2012. Allegedly, the new ship will be an identical copy of the infamous liner, which sank in 1912 following a collision with an iceberg. To avoid a repeat disaster, Titanic II will apparently be outfitted with plenty of lifeboats and will have a welded, not riveted hull, plus modern navigation and radar equipment. "The ship will not only 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," said Palmer.

The maiden voyage, however, will take passengers from Dubai to New York, reports Cruise Arabia, with the first sailing scheduled to take place in 2022. Blue Star Line says the nine-decked ship will be home to 835 cabins, set to accommodate 2,435 passengers. First, second, and third-class tickets will be available just like in the original. It'll be outfitted exactly like the original Titanic, including the grand staircase that plays a memorable role in James Cameron's hit movie. Meanwhile, tourists with plenty of money to splash might soon have the chance to dive to the wreck of the original Titanic. American company Ocean Gate has scheduled diving trips for 2019, costing $105,129 per person. Meanwhile 'The Bluefish', a self-described "experiential concierge firm" is also hoping to orchestrate Titanic trips for the 2019/20 period. Of course, the original Titanic voyage ended in tragedy, with over 1,500 people losing their lives. For many, voyages to the shipwreck and replica ships are in bad taste. Steve Sims, founder of The Bluefish does not see diving to the wreck as inappropriate. "The people who tend to want to go are very respectful. And you can only do eight to nine civilians on a ship. So you're not getting a bunch of giggling teenagers who are spending over $100,000," he said. Realistically, it's unclear whether Titanic II will ever see the light of day, or whether the diving tours will happen next year. But one thing's for certain, more than 100 years after the Titanic's first and only voyage, global interest in the doomed ship shows no sign of slowing down.

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