The replica of the ill-fated ship will be built at a Chinese shipyard and will sail on its maiden voyage accompanied by the Chinese navy. It will be powered by diesel rather than coal but will otherwise follow design plans approved by a historical research team and, like its predecessor, will have 840 rooms and nine decks.
Asked whether the new ship could sink, Mr Palmer, Australia’s fifth-richest person, said: “Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it.”
He added: “It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn’t happen. But, of course, if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen.”
Mr Palmer said the boat will have the same dimensions as the Titanic and will replicate its design as closely as possible but will have “state of the art engineering”. The only differences will be below the water line, he said, and will include a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency and diesel generation, plus an enlarged rudder and bow thrusters for improved manoeuvrability.
“Titanic II will be the ultimate in comfort and luxury with on-board gymnasiums and swimming pools, libraries, high class restaurants and luxury cabins,” he said.
Mr Palmer, whose wealth is estimated at more than £3 billion, is well known in Australia for his outlandish whims and gestures and controversial views. …