Billionaire Building Titanic Replica: Maiden Voyage 2016 [Video]

A billionaire is planning to build a replica of the Titanic; the maiden voyage is planned for 2016. A high-tech version of the ill-fated luxury ocean liner is expected to sail from England to New York.

A gala promoting the project was held over the weekend, featuring the original Titanic menu and over 110 guests. It was announced that, although it will cost over $200 million to build the replica ship, plans are moving forward.

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer announced a contract with CSC Jinling Shipyard, China, who will build the replica ship. Since the announcement last year, Palmer says he has received an “overwhelming” response from potential passengers.

As reported by USA Today, Palmer has worked closely with historians to maintain visual accuracy. Several features will be included simply to preserve the original design. The smokestacks, for example, are not necessary as the new Titanic will be powered by diesel as opposed to coal. The frame of the Titanic replica will be welded, replacing rivets used in the original construction. The replica will include advanced technology including a navigation system to ensure passenger safety.

As reported by the The New York Times, Palmer’s plan has been met with skepticism, as the billionaire is known for “brash” and “eccentric” behavior. Business associates have been quoted as saying that “people don’t take him seriously,” and “You have to discount much of what he says and does with many grains of salt.”

Palmer initially left law school to pursue a career in real estate. Much of the land purchased by Palmer turned out to be rich with natural resources including iron and coal.

The 58-year-old billionaire’s Titanic Replica has been named Titanic II. The ship is planned to feature 840 cabins and plenty of lifeboats. The project has sparked interest from potential passengers worldwide. Palmer has reportedly received offers of over $1 million for a cabin during the maiden voyage planned for 2016.

When the billionaire was asked if he expected his Titanic replica to be successful, he simply stated:

“At my age, you don’t really worry that much about whether you make money or lose money on something, but I’m pretty convinced that it will be a financial bonanza.”

[Image via devientART]