Mining magnate announces the arrival of Titanic II

by Mark Benson on April 30, 2012

in Money, Business and Finance

All aboard for the launch of Titanic II

The often controversial figure of Clive Palmer, one of Australia’s richest men, is again dominating the Australian and even the worldwide press. He has today announced he has commissioned a Chinese shipyard to build Titanic II which will be a replica of the original Titanic with just a minimal number of changes. These changes will be in line with the latest technology, safety and fuel efficiency but the basic design and look of the vessel will be exactly the same as the original.

The design of the Titanic II

Clive Palmer has created his very own shipping company “Blue Star Line” which will be the home of the new Titanic. The vessel will be around 270 m long, 53 m high and weigh an astonishing 40,000 tonnes. There will be 840 rooms in total with nine decks which will be designed and created using historical data from the original Titanic. To all intents and purposes this will be the Titanic reborn in a new-age when safety and technology are much improved – as will be the experience of passengers!

Despite the fact that Titanic sank over 100 years ago it is a ship which still captures the hearts and minds of many enthusiasts. It was put forward as an unsinkable vessel which would give the ultimate in luxury cruise line experience although as we all know it sank on its maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg. It will be interesting to see what kind of welcome Titanic II will get with its maiden voyage pencilled in for 2016.

The Titanic’s maiden voyage part two

The Titanic’s maiden voyage is pencilled in for late 2016 and will see the vessel travelling from England to North America. Clive Palmer has already invited the Chinese Navy to escort the new Titanic to New York in what will be one of the most triumphant and emotional returns to the sea. The Titanic, despite the fact it did not even last to the end of its first journey, created a very special feeling among seagoing tourists and while there have been discussions about raising the Titanic from its seabed grave these have so far been curtailed.

We can only hope and pray that Titanic II does not succumb to the same issues and problems which the original vessel experienced on its maiden voyage.

The cost of Titanic II

So far Clive Palmer has yet to disclose the total cost of building Titanic II but this will certainly not be cheap in this day and age. He has cleverly involved a major Chinese shipyard, CSC Jinling Shipyard, to build the vessel in what many see as a coup for the Chinese authorities. It is common knowledge that the Chinese authorities are looking to break into the commercial cargo and container ships market with around 75% of current vessels built in Europe.

The capture of the commissioning of Titanic II will most certainly result in massive worldwide media coverage and should help to propel the Chinese industry onto the worldwide stage. It will most certainly create a challenge for the European shipbuilding industry which has been dominant for many years.

Is this nothing but a PR stunt?

As soon as the announcement of Titanic II was beamed across the worldwide media there were accusations that this is nothing but a public relations stunt ahead of Clive Palmer’s decision to run against government Treasurer Wayne Swan in next year’s national elections. While there is some reason for scepticism at this very early stage, when you take into account the fact that Clive Palmer is worth an estimated US$5.2 billion he does have the funds and the backing to complete such a venture.

Like so many of Australia’s wealthy mining magnates Clive Palmer has been something of a thorn in the side of the coalition government. The authorities have attempted time after time to introduce new taxes into the mining sector and, while partly successful, Clive Palmer and his counterparts have held their corner. His direct challenge to Wayne Swan will certainly give Australian voters something to think about and the opportunity to make a statement in relation to the way the country has been run in recent times.

What would you pay for a trip on Titanic II?

Whether or not the announcement of Titanic II turns out to be nothing but a damp squid and something of a publicity stunt there is no doubt that it has caught the attention of the tourist industry. Not only will we potentially have a ship which is to all intents and purposes exactly the same as the original Titanic but it will also be able to piggyback on the reputation and the story of the original vessel.

As a consequence, it is highly likely that the maiden voyage of Titanic II will lead to tickets changing hands for substantial amounts of money. There will be a mass of free advertising around the world and this could in many ways set up a new trend replicating historical events, historic vessels and reliving history. There are few people in the world who could afford to embark on such an ambitious project but when you take into account the fact that Clive Palmer is worth in excess of US$5 billion he has the funding to hand.

Why would he risk his reputation in the business world with a cynical and empty promise of launching Titanic II?

Conclusion

Despite the fact that the Titanic failed to even complete its maiden voyage this has not dampened enthusiasm for Titanic II with billionaire Clive Palmer causing waves in the tourist industry. His decision to commission the ship with a Chinese shipyard has allowed him to play off European counterparts with their Chinese competitors. There is no doubt that he will have obtained the best value for money, the best price and the tightest of timetables.

The vessels maiden voyage is pencilled in for late 2016 and already there is massive media interest in the journey. Titanic II has the potential to piggyback on the story and the reputation of the original vessel and this could end up being something of a masterstroke by Clive Palmer.

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