Billionaire and Blue Star Line chairman Clive Palmer has announced that design plans for Titanic ll are back on track with a proposed 2027 launch.

“We are very pleased to announce that after unforeseen global delays, we have re-engaged with partners to bring the dream of Titanic ll to life. Let the journey begin,” told a press conference at the Sydney Opera House.

It’s not the first time Palmer has launched the idea, with the concept first floated in London in 2012. That was a century after the original Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage. That resulted in the loss of more than 1500 lives (figures differ). 

“The government lockdowns sent the cruise industry into a long-term shutdown but shipping is back in full business with passenger numbers now surpassing pre-COVID levels,” Palmer said.

“We are getting the best ship-builders, designers and engineers in the world back on deck to build Titanic ll.”

Finnish-based ship design and marine engineering company Deltamarin is reviewing the Titanic II project to ensure the vessel will be compliant with all current safety and construction regulations as well as meeting Blue Star Line’s design criteria, Palmer said.

Plans for Titanic ll are back on track.

Promise to create authentic Titanic experience

“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,” Palmer said.

“We are bringing in some of the best designers in the world for cruise shipping to make sure nothing is overlooked and we have a specification that is far, far superior than the original Titanic. It will be the ship of love and the ultimate in style and luxury,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“The essence of this venture is to offer passengers an unparalleled journey back in time, immersing them fully in the opulence and splendour of life aboard the original Titanic, thus bridging a century with a voyage of unparalleled elegance,’’ he said.

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.

Modern design and safety

Other global partners include V.Ships Leisure who will be responsible for project support, building supervision and ship management services; and Swedish marine architecture and interior design company Tillberg Design, whose portfolio includes classic ocean liners Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2.

The ship will be built in Europe and put to tender in June. Palmer dismissed the former Chinese shipyard as not up to building a ship of the quality required.

Titanic ll will weigh about 56,000 gross tonnes, comprise nine decks and will be designed to recreate the grandeurs of the original. The vessel will have an overall length of 269m and a width of 32.2m. It will feature 835 cabins. That will include 383 1st class, 201 2nd class and 251 3rd class rooms. It will cater for 2435 passengers, the same number as the original.

New ship will feature modern technology

Additionally, the new ship will feature modern technology and the latest navigation and safety systems set in a new deck.

But Titanic II will also feature an exact replica of the bridge as it was in the original ship. It will be the vessel’s navigational control centre designed and configured to modern standards and regulations. Importantly, unlike the original, it will provide a complete view of the forward and sides of the ship.

Titanic II will be powered by a diesel engine. It will feature four smoke stacks just as the coal-powered Titanic had.

“In 1912 the Titanic was the ship of dreams. For over a century Titanic’s legend has been powered by mystery, intrigue and respect for all she stood for,” Palmer said.

“Titanic ll something that needed to be built. We all know how to make war. We get armies and we fund wars. People know about that. But it is a lot harder to make peace. To make peace you have got to stick with it every day. You progress inch by inch.

“Titanic ll is something that can provide peace. It can be a ship of peace between all countries of the world.”

Clive Palmer addresses the press conference at the Sydney Opera House.
Clive Palmer addresses the press conference at the Sydney Opera House.

Budget could blow out beyond $1billion

Finally, a proposed AU$600 million budget would be eclipsed by a shipyard bill of possibly US$1 billion or more, he said.

“It’s a lot more fun to do things. It’s a lot more fun to do the Titanic than it is to sit at home and count my money,” he said.

The almost 70-year-old said he also had two options on what to do with his fortune. 

“I either give my wife more money for shopping or I spend it on the Titanic and I’m spending it on the Titanic because she’s shopped enough thank you.”

Huge demand expected to grow

In addition, he said tens of thousands had already applied to sail on Titanic II.

“Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty. Titanic ll will be the ship where those dreams come true,’’ he said.

Palmer said he already had 40 Australians working on the project. A documentary is also underway.

What’s on board

There will be a grand staircase under a large iron-and-glass dome with a 50-light crystal chandelier.

There will be a traditional dining room , a ballroom, indoor pool, Turkish baths, theatre, smoking room and old-fashioned gym.

Palmer, who has suggested in the past period costume might be provided, said he would travel in third class, adding: “I want some Irish stew with people who don’t know me. I’ll go incognito.”

The news has sparked world wide interest. The Daily Telegraph in London reported travel writer Anthony Nicholas, the author of Key Figures Aboard RMS Titanic, as saying: “The original ship had just four lifts – three for first-class passengers, one for second and none at all for third. That wouldn’t work today. Where are they going to put extra lifts and how much space will this take up from the original style of the interior?

“Are they still planning for passengers to ‘experience’ all three classes during a six-day crossing? If yes, how do they facilitate moving hundreds of people and their belongings around the ship once, let alone twice every six days?”