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Billionaire announces recreation of Titanic ship

“The Titanic was a ship of dreams; Titanic II is the ship where dreams will come true,” Australian businessman Clive Palmer said.

On Feb. 26, it was announced that Palmer will create the “Ship of Dreams,” a remake of the Titanic, which met its demise a hundred years ago.

The original RMS Titanic set out on her maiden voyage of Southampton on April 10, 1912. It was operated by the White Star Line on its way toward New York City. The Titanic was built in Belfast, Ireland from designs of the naval architect Thomas Andrews Jr.; it was to be the largest vessel of its time.

However, the Titanic would never reach New York Harbor, and instead would meet its fate midway on the journey. On the night of April 14, 1912, at 11:40 p.m., the Titanic hit an iceberg, creating a series of holes below the waterline and causing the ship to sink bow-first.

The ship, lacking in lifeboats and crew preparedness, sank, leaving only 710 people out of the 2224 people on board alive. Most of those who were left aboard were men in order to let most of the women and children escape on the lifeboats.

The story of Titanic has been brought back to life through many adaptions in film and television most notably in James Cameron’s Titanic (1997). This has carried the story of Titanic through several generations and has led to an ever growing interest of the Titanic lore.

Now Palmer hopes to recreate the once famous ship and bring its passengers back into history in the Titanic II.

“We will complete the journey,” Palmer said. “We will sail into New York. On the ship that they designed. That they envisaged.”

For family of Titanic’s passengers and historians, seeing the Titanic II finish the journey of its predecessor will be an emotional end and new beginning to a historic journey.

“Titanic II represents the spirit of man,” Palmer said. “The spirit of love. The hope that all men have for peace on earth in our time and goodwill to all men.”

Palmer is also the chairman of the Blue Star Line Shipping company, which would have Titanic II as its flagship. It will be made in China and it is Palmer?s hope that this will bring three continents closer together in a promoting peace.

“The Titanic II will be a ship of peace, it will sail from China to Southampton, from Southampton to New York, from New York to Southampton,” Palmer said. “Linking three continents, carrying the hopes and dreams of people everywhere, it represents the reconciliation of man, the hopes of many for a better life and for a better future. That?s what the original Titanic was all about.”

The ship will be unique to most modern cruise ships in that it will be made to look like the original Titanic. Guests will be given turn of the century attire if they choose to wear it so that they may take a journey back in time.

“Titanic comes from a time when the world was different,” Palmer said. “When there was a different culture, different ways of living. When people worked with each other more. And as James Cameron reminds us . . . my heart will go on.”

It will include recreations of several famous Titanic landmarks such as the grand staircase, turkish baths and even smoking room. In addition to that, passengers will be split into three classes just as they were in Edwardian times to recreate an authentic experience. Palmer himself stated that he would be in the third class which would be a great deal of fun.

While at the same time as creating an Edwardian experience, it will have all the modern necessities such as safety features, including enough lifeboats so that history will not repeat itself.

Though some people fear for a repetition of history, many people are excited to enter the footsteps of Jack and Rose from the Titanic film. Historians are especially thrilled at the opportunity to relive a part of history. Several people have already offered to pay a million dollars for first class cabins in the maiden voyage.

“By learning from the lessons of the past, the spirit of Rose and Jack, Romeo and Juliet, lives in all of us,” Palmer said. “The spirit of life, the spirit of love, to dream the impossible dream, all of us live in time, this is our moment, this is our turn to board Titanic II and set sail on a new sea, of our own making.”

The maiden voyage will replicate the path of the original Titanic from Southampton to New York City. Many might be skeptical of such a feat but not Palmer who remains ever hopeful and positive.

“Why build the Titanic?” Palmer said. “Why go to the moon? Why do the Yankees play the Red Sox? Why did Christopher Columbus discover the Americas? Because they could, and they can, and we can build the Titanic.”

Campus students are both surprised and some are enthusiastic that history will not repeat itself. When students hear “Titanic,” many think of the film but are surprised to see this is not a sequel, but a ship.

Junior Christian Saylor was unaware of the new project, but believes that this time the Titanic will complete its voyage.

“I didn’t know they were doing that,” Saylor said. “I was surprised that they are doing it, considering that the first ship sank. I think it might work being that they’ve learned from what they did wrong last time.”

Freshman Marissa Jonigian also was skeptical about the success of the Titanic II. She does not think that it would live up to the grandeur of the first ship.

“I think it’s an okay idea but personally I don’t think I would go on the second Titanic because I would feel like it’s bad luck,” Jonigian said. “Also, I don’t think it can live up to the first one.”

Some students that did hear the news are excited to see the historic ship rebuilt, especially because it is being made to look like the original. Junior David Taylor thought the Titanic II would be a great idea to get guests immersed in the history of the Titanic.

“I think its a great thing to do,” Taylor said. “They’re bringing guests back in time to experience the history of it which would be really cool to revisit that history.”

Social Science teacher Jordana Siebert thinks that history might repeat itself if the proper modifications are not made.

“If they build it too much like the first Titanic they might miss out on the safety features that modern ships have,” Siebert said. “Also, because they are taking it on the same path that they took it on before, that seems pretty problematic to me.”

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @McKayMohun.

For more features, read the March 8 article, American Press Institute encourages newspaper education.

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