An Australian billionaire has revealed detailed plans for a new Titanic—this one much safer than the original, its designer says. The Titanic II "will be absolutely the most safe cruise ship in the world," says Markku Kanerva, of the Finnish firm behind the replica. That doesn't mean it's "unsinkable," however, says mining billionaire Clive Palmer. "Anything will sink if you put a hole in it," he says. Should that happen, however, the ship has enough lifeboats and rafts for 3,500 people.
That's more than the 2,435 passengers and 900 crew members the ship will carry. The first Titanic only had enough lifeboats for a third of those on board. Otherwise, however, the new ship will be remarkably similar to the original. At a New York event, which kicked off with an instrumental version of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," Palmer showed off some features, the Daily Mail reports:
- At 883 feet, the Titanic II will be just three inches longer than its predecessor; it will weigh 55,800 metric tons to the original's 53,210. Made of steel composite rather than wood, the hull will be stronger than before.
- The maximum speed of both ships is the same: 24 knots.
- To re-create the original experience, there will be no TVs or Internet, and passengers—again divided into three classes—will be offered period clothing to wear.
- Don't expect a high-tech gym. In keeping with the original, the rendering shows early 20th-century-style workout gear, like a punching bag and rowing machine.
- Like the original, the new ship will have Turkish baths, two "Millionaire Suites," and a Cafe Parisien.
- Already, 40,000 people have registered for tickets; 16 have offered "between $750,000 and $1 million to be on the opening voyage," Palmer said. That maiden voyage is set for late 2016.