Will Titanic II float your boat or is the plan a dinosaur dead in the water?

//Will Titanic II float your boat or is the plan a dinosaur dead in the water?

titanicII.jpgIt’s no secret I have been sceptical of the much-touted proposals to build Titanic II right from the start. It seemed less like a viable plan to build an updated replica than a publicity-seeking scheme from Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer.
Even with his unnecessary assurances about the provision of sufficient lifeboats and his off-colour remarks that the ship would inevitably sink “if you put a hole in it,” most observers remained unconvinced that such a project would be welcomed by the cruising public.
Doubts were reinforced when big international events scheduled to launch the project were called off in December. Confidence was not boosted by Palmer’s wacky announcement that the ship’s restaurants would serve up food from the original Titanic’s 100-year-old menu, with third-class passengers sitting at communal refectory tables. There will be no televisions in cabins, and Palmer is still thinking about whether to allow passengers to have internet access – because he thinks they should relax on holiday.
The publicity machine was been back in gear in New York this week, following a Titanic II dinner in Macau – which Palmer was too busy to attend – and ahead of a press conference to be held in London on Saturday.
Computer-generated images of the ship’s interiors have been prepared – looking a lot like the film industry’s idea of Titanic – and the Chinese shipyard reported to have been awarded the contract to build the vessel says it has been “upgrading its facilities” ready for construction work to start.
But are we any more convinced by Palmer’s rambling address in which he claimed “Titanic represents the spirit of man. The spirit of love. The hope that all men have for peace on earth in our time and goodwill to all men.
“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. 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.”
Guests at Palmer’s Coolum resort on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast have found their hopes of a better life and a better future foundering as a result of the changes he has made since buying the property from Hyatt 18 months ago.
t-rex.jpgVisitors say his publicity-grabbing stunts – such as the installation of a 20-metre Tyrannosaurus Rex in the middle of a golf course – have destroyed the exclusive resort, according to Brisbane’s Courier Mail.
The course hosted the Australian PGA championship for 11 years but the 2013 event will be held instead at nearby Royal Pines. Organisers fell out with Palmer when he had more than 60 adverts for his resort painted on the fairways.
Staff complain that dozens of jobs have been cut. “Morale is very low. A lot of good people have gone. Guests who come to stay somewhere like this, and pay good money to do so, have certain expectations,” said one former employee. There was concern that, as a miner trying to run a resort, Palmer lacks experience of the hospitality industry.
Room rates at the resort range from £200 to £1,350 a night, yet one guest complained on TripAdvisor that he had to pay extra to watch television and there was no internet connection.
Another wrote: ” No people, no atmosphere, no towels, no food services around pool areas, extra charges for absolutely everything. Weeds everywhere in gardens, leaves everywhere …. Put your hand in your pocket Clive.”
Not very promising for the future of Titanic II, is it?
I may, of course, be completely wrong about Palmer’s plans. The billionaire might not, after all, be as big a dinosaur as he appears. Just in case, I’ll leave a date free in my diary for the start of the maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 2016.
But something tells me it might also be prudent to keep an eye open for Palmer floating a full-sized replica iceberg in the Atlantic – complete with a T Rex – a few days later. Who would put it past him?
►A telephone poll of more than 1,200 British cruisers this week discovered that more people would like to take a holiday on board the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean than would choose to cruise on a replica Titanic.
The survey, for online travel agent BonVoyage, discovered that a quarter of the respondents did not want to take a Transatlantic crossing, while almost a third said they would be too scared because of the history of Titanic.
Nevertheless, 83 per cent of those questioned believed that building the ship was a good idea, and almost as many said they would be happy to visit the vessel … in port.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:37+00:00 28 February 2013|Cruise Gossip|6 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Anonymous 28 February 2013 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Quote: “You don’t back a horse called Striding Snail, you don’t name your boat Titanic II.” :’The Beautiful South’ (UK pop band) 1996, “Little Blue.”

  2. PD 28 February 2013 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    The Chinese CSC Jinling Shipyard is building four bulk carriers for Palmer’s companies. But Palmer told the New York press conference the contract to build Titanic II has not yet been signed.

  3. Malcolm Oliver 1 March 2013 at 11:34 am - Reply

    John, you sound more than a little sceptical about Palmer’s project and quite rightly so! However if Titanic 2 really does get built and really does sail from Southampton in 2016, shall I save you a table in the ‘café Parisian’?

  4. John Honeywell 1 March 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

    “More than a little sceptical” is putting it mildly, Malcolm. I don’t believe it will ever take to the water. However, if it does, I will gladly join you at your table

  5. Susan 7 March 2013 at 11:17 am - Reply

    If Palmer is really serious about building Titanic 2, why hasn’t he placed the order with a shipyard that actually knows how to build passenger ships? The Chinese may be very good at building bulk ore carriers for his mining business, but what do they know about passenger ships?

  6. Joe Collins 12 March 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    All my friends agree, it’s never going to be built!

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