30 April 2012

Leading businessman Clive Palmer today launched a new international shipping venture which has plans to build a fleet of world class luxury liners including a 21st century version of the Titanic.

More than 100 years after the original Titanic’s tragic sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean, Mr Palmer has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build Titanic II.

“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” Mr Palmer said.

“Titanic II will sail in the northern hemisphere and her maiden voyage from England to North America is scheduled for late 2016.

“We have invited the Chinese navy to escort Titanic II on its maiden voyage to New York.”

Mr Palmer said the rebuild was a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic.

“These people produced work that is still marvelled at more than 100 years later and we want that spirit to go on for another 100 years,” he said.

Mr Palmer said he has established a new shipping company Blue Star Line Pty Ltd which has commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard to build and coordinate the construction of Titanic II in China.

“The Chinese are renowned for building commercial cargo and container ships,” he said.

“China currently produces around two to three per cent of the world’s luxury ships but is looking to challenge the Europeans who have around 75 per cent of this market.

“The Chinese ship building industry with our assistance wants to be a major player in this market.”

Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912. It was one of the world’s deadliest peacetime maritime disasters, costing the lives of 1,514 passengers and crew.

The Titanic was commissioned by White Star Line and was the largest liner in the world at just under 270m long, 53m high and weighing approximately 40,000 tonnes.

Mr Palmer said design work in conjunction with an historical research team had commenced on the new Titanic, which would have the same dimensions as its predecessor, with 840 rooms and nine decks. The only changes to the original Titanic would be below the water line including welding and not riveting, a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency, diesel generation and enlarged rudder and bow thrusters for increased 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 said the new ship would also include an exhibition room which will be located in the space of the old coal boilers which will showcase Queensland and its abundance of opportunities to international passengers.

“I am assembling an extensive tourism portfolio which also includes the Coolum Golf and Spa resort on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“This new venture will add to Mr Palmer’s growing tourism portfolio which includes the Coolum Golf and Spa Resort and Robina Woods and the Colonial golf courses.”