JUNE 19, 2012 — Plans by Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer to build a 21st century version of the RMS Titanic are progressing. Today, his Blue Star Line announced that Finland's Deltamarin will undertake a full review of the Titanic II project to ensure the vessel will be compliant with all current safety and construction regulations, as well as meeting the design criteria laid down by Blue Star Line.
The work carried out by Deltamarin will enable China's CSC Jinling Shipyard to begin construction of the passenger liner.
Professor Palmer, as he prefers to style himself, certainly has pockets deep enough to fund the project. As of March 2012 his net worth was estimated by Forbes magazine to be A$8 billion. That same month he was named as a National Living Treasure by the New South Wales Branch of the National Trust of Australia. The title of professor reflects his role as Adjunct Professor of Business, at Deakin University's Faculty of Business and Law from 2002 to 2006, delivering a series of lectures as part of Deakin's MBA Residential Programs.
According to Professor Palmer, Blue Star Line has been overwhelmed by the international response to the Titanic II project, which was announced in April this year.
"More than 20,000 people have registered on Blue Star Line's website expressing an interest in receiving regular updates from us or requesting information on how to secure bookings for Titanic II's maiden voyage," he said.
He reaffirmed the 2016 launch date for the ship and the intention for Titanic II to sail from China to England before her maiden passenger voyage retracing its original journey.
"Titanic II will be a regular feature on the transatlantic route between the UK and USA," Professor Palmer said.
"This magnificent vessel is being constructed in memory of the heroic people who served on the first ship, as well as the passengers who sadly shared their fate.
"We also want to recognise the artists and artisans whose skill, creativity and dexterity has never been fully recognizsed because of the ship's limited service."
Titanic II is to have the same dimensions as the original, with 840 rooms and nine decks. The main changes to the will be below the water line including welding, a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency, diesel generation and bow thrusters for increased maneuverability.
There will also, presumably, be more lifeboat capacity.