All aboard? Back in February, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer held a press conference to announce his plans to build a duplicate of the Titanic—arguably the most famous ocean-liner in history. The original Titanic, billed as “unsinkable,” hit an iceberg in 1912 and sank. Palmer is calling his ship, of course, Titanic II.
Think that might be a bad idea? Of course you do. And you’re not alone. While Palmer promises that Titanic II will have a stronger, more iceberg-proof hull (and way more lifeboats), critics say that the new ship makes a mockery of the hundreds of passengers who died on the original Titanic. Descendants of survivors of the disaster are even passing around a petition to block the construction of Titanic II.
Nevertheless, Palmer’s moving forward with his plans. He hopes to make Titanic II the flagship of his Blue Star Line shipping company. It will be built in China and is slated to set sail in 2016. When asked by the press why he’s going through with this, Palmer responded with a curt, “Because I can.”
So far, 40,000 people have applied for tickets. Offers of over $1 million have been placed on first-class cabins on the ship’s maiden voyage. Among those who may be on board: Helen Benziger, great-granddaughter of Margaret “The Unsinkable Molly” Brown. Benzinger hopes to stay in the replica of the cabin that her grandmother occupied on the original Titanic.
What could possibly go wrong?