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Are They Building a Replica of the RMS Titanic?

Updated on April 23, 2017
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Blue Star Line's rendering of Titanic II.
Blue Star Line's rendering of Titanic II.

The Race to Rebuilt Titanic

Since the sinking of the RMS Titanic 100 years ago on April 15, 1912, the question has popped up every decade or so since, Should the Titanic be rebuilt?

Shortly after the centennial of the disaster, that question was answered unexpectedly by an Australian Billionaire, "Yes it will." Titanic II will sail the seas in a modernized reproduction of the doomed liner. Construction was originally set to begin in 2013 and its maiden voyage scheduled for 2016.

Believe it or not, Clive Palmer's plan to rebuilt the ship is nothing new. Over the last 100 years, there have been dozens of serious attempts at rebuilding the Titanic or her sister ship Olympic. Titles of these projects have been labeled everything from "Replica Titanic", Olympic III, Titanic 2 or Gigantic. These ambitions have only grown with intensity since the release of the 1997 blockbuster movie and again with the centennial of the sinking in 2012. Even Harland and Wolff, the original builders of the Titanic said that they've been overwhelmed with calls asking about the odds of a Titanic II.

One could say it's sparked some kind of replica race, who can rebuilt Titanic first? Here's a look at the most notable attempts to rebuild the most famous ship of all time.

Would you sail on Titanic II?

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Popular Mechanics' Titanic 2 Evaluation.

In 1998, Popular Mechanics released an article addressing the feasibility of rebuilding the luxury liner. Their findings addressed features that would have to be changed should a replica be built.

Some of their findings would include

  • A welded hull not riveted.
  • A Bulbous Bow for greater fuel efficiency.
  • Steering and propulsion redesign including bow thrusters and stabilizers.
  • Diesel electric generation and propulsion.

This diagram released in the 1990s addresses the concerns that a replica Titanic would bring to modern designers.
This diagram released in the 1990s addresses the concerns that a replica Titanic would bring to modern designers. | Source

Hotel Titanic in Las Vegas, Nevada

Eager to capitalize on James Cameron's runaway successful movie there were not one, but two attempts to build a Titanic on the Vegas strip. Casino developer Bob Stupak announced his latest project; a hotel and casino with a Titanic theme. His vision called for a replica of the ship, nearly twice the size as the original vessel to be built on the Las Vegas Strip. Hundreds of rooms, multiple casinos, sounded like a developer's dream.

Little did Stupak know, but a rival developer was also attempting to capitalize on Cameron's Titanic mania with his own Titanic Hotel and Casino. This one would have had a 50% scale replica of the ship under the shadow of several huge iceberg shaped towers. Both projects duked it out in court for the trademark rights of the name and theme. Both were ultimately rejected by the Las Vegas City Council as distasteful sensationalizing of the disaster. Stupak's project quickly disappeared into the dust bin of failed Vegas projects. Titanic Resorts project still actively maintains trademarks on the name 'Titanic Hotel & Casino' and other related titles.

Bob Stupak's Hotel Titanic.
Bob Stupak's Hotel Titanic.
Titanic Resorts proposed Titanic Hotel & Casino.
Titanic Resorts proposed Titanic Hotel & Casino. | Source

Sarel Gous's Titanic 2

Titled Replica Titanic, this project was launched in 2000 by South American millionaire Sarel Gous. His dream: To rebuilt the luxury liner as the world's largest cruise liner. She would by physically identical in her appearance but would in fact be considerably larger than the original. Gous made significant progress on this project.

In November 2000, financing was secured and construction was supposed to begin nine months later. Almost from the start, regulation problems stunted the authenticity of the project. Modern regulations have outlawed extensive wood paneling in ships and lifeboat laws have seen multiple changes since Titanic's day rendering the Boat Deck useless. Negative public support also sealed the project's fate, including a statement issued by then-living Titanic survivor Millvina Dean, condemning the Titanic II project. The project was finally scrapped in 2006.

Clive Palmer's Titanic II

Announced on the centennial of the original's sinking, the Australian billionaire has relaunched the dream to rebuilt Titanic. Details of the design are few, but the this new replica will likely be faced with the same problems as the 2000 Attempt. Let's take a look at this ambitious yet highly controversial project. Opinions are mixed as some consider the project disrespectful to those who perished more than a century ago. Among those who oppose the building of Titanic II are the decedents of the original Titanic Survivors.

Proposed Ticket Pricing: Not only would Titanic II recreate the original's grand opulence, but sailing on her would also pay homage to the old days of passenger trade. While prices have not been officially set, Blue Star Line did announce in its February 2013 press release that "1st Class" tickets could cost as much as $1 Million per person. Ironically that's even more than an original Titanic 1st ticket would cost today. When adjusted for inflation, an original 1st Class ticket would cost approximately $60,000.

Titanic II's official design released in February 2013. Intended to be as close a replica as modern regulations and safety features will allow. The replica titanic will be 15 feet wider than the original ship.
Titanic II's official design released in February 2013. Intended to be as close a replica as modern regulations and safety features will allow. The replica titanic will be 15 feet wider than the original ship. | Source

Project Abandonment

In a statement released by shipbuilder CSC Jinling, construction of Titanic II is slated to begin in April of 2013. Total building cost of the project was an estimated $500 million. Yet as of 2017, not a single steel plate has been laid. Clive Palmer's businesses have suffered financial collapse and the project is largely considered abandoned.

Titanic II's wheelhouse. Note: The recreated telemotor in the now redundant forward wheelhouse.
Titanic II's wheelhouse. Note: The recreated telemotor in the now redundant forward wheelhouse.
Rebuilt Grand Staircase
Rebuilt Grand Staircase | Source
Rebuilt 3rd Class Dining Room
Rebuilt 3rd Class Dining Room | Source
Rebuilt Turkish Bath
Rebuilt Turkish Bath | Source
Rebuilt Titanic 2
Rebuilt Titanic 2 | Source
Titanic II's recreated swimming pool.
Titanic II's recreated swimming pool.

Chinese Titanic Replica

Enter China and Seven Star Resorts. Unlike the latest previous Titanic replica projects, the replica in China will be a stationary attraction not a seaworthy vessel. The centerpiece of a large scale tourist and hotel attraction complex in Suining, this vessel is on schedule to be completed in 2018. The company boasts their Titanic to be a 1:1 scale replica. She comes complete with an iceberg collision recreation attraction for entertainment, a permanent collection of Titanic artifacts and interior recreations of all of Titanic's most famous features.

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    • point2make profile image

      point2make 5 years ago

      Very informative hub. Thank-you for the updated information. It is an interesting question but I believe that I would sail on the replica. It would be an interesting experience and to get the opportunity to experience "Titanic" ,albeit a replica, would be unique.

    • clairemy profile image

      Claire 5 years ago

      I hope he achieves his dream. And I would love the chance to sail on it, even though it will only be a recreation of the original.

    • alisha4u profile image

      alisha4u 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      If I get a chance to sail on her....Yes. i would. I hope this time they make it "Iceberg Proof" ;)

    • jasonponic profile image
      Author

      Jason Ponic 5 years ago from Albuquerque

      Only time will tell! Personally I think it would be very exciting to sail on a namesake ship. I've had a passion for the Titanic since childhood.

    • profile image

      paul T 4 years ago

      I would love to but probably out price the normal person.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

      Building a new Titanic would be quite interesting, but the owners must have a different attitude from the originals. They should not describe it "unsinkable," because not anything built with human hands is so durable. If it is a "mortal," ship, which I think is not exalting itself above the Almighty and what He would allow, I think I would board it, maybe. The old ghost of memories is hard to shed. Maybe Titanic should continue to rest in peace.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Jim R 3 years ago

      WOW, and original 1st class ticket, equal to today's market would cost $60,000. - And Blue Star Lines has mentioned charging $1m per 1st class ticket in or around 2017 for the repro maiden cruise. I immediately think of the cost to be on the first civilian Space Fight (possible by Virgin Air) - I believe the ticket costs around $1m... I think I will wait until they get a few trips under their belt.

    • profile image

      christopher 3 years ago

      id love to go on the cruise ship, if it does happen as planned i will definatly be on it. i was actually looking for a site to buy a ticket. hopefully tickets wont be 60 grand, as i just don't see how a 7 day cruise would be worth spending that much.

    • profile image

      Ms y 2 years ago

      I hate the thought of them doing this. I think it is very innapropriate.

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