MINING entrepreneur, serial litigator and spendthrift political aspirant Clive Palmer has salvaged plans to build a modern replica of the iceberg-challenged Titanic.

Mr Palmer first announced his proposal for Titanic II as far back as 2012, with a maiden voyage of the (then) $195 million vessel from Southampton to New York planned for 2016. However, by that time no contract had been signed with appointed builders CSC Jinling, and no steel had been cut. It was subsequently announced the project was to be delayed until 2018, and then 2019, by which time it was touted as a $500 million venture.

Yesterday (13 March) Mr Palmer, in his capacity as chairman of his Blue Star Line, announced the project was being raised from the bottom of the ocean and that design plans for Titanic II were being finalised.

“We are very pleased to announce that after unforeseen global delays, we have re-engaged with partners to bring the dream of Titanic II to life. Let the journey begin,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“The government lockdowns sent the cruise industry into a long-term shutdown but shipping is back in full business with passenger numbers now surpassing pre-covid levels.

“We are getting the best ship-builders, designers and engineers in the world back on deck to build Titanic II,’’ Mr Palmer said.

He said the project enjoyed the continued support of world -leading, Finnish-based ship design and marine engineering company Deltamarin, which had undertaken a review of the project ensuring the vessel would be compliant with all current safety and construction regulations as well as meeting Blue Star Line’s design criteria.

Other global partners include V.Ships Leisure, who will be responsible for project support, building supervision and ship management services; and Swedish marine architecture and interior design company Tillberg Design, whose portfolio includes classic ocean liners Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2, Mr Palmer announced.

“Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience, providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layout as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st century technology to produce the highest level of luxurious comfort,” Mr Palmer said.

(Presumably it won’t be completely authentic.)

“We are bringing in some of the best designers in the world for cruise shipping to make sure nothing is overlooked and we have a specification that is far, far superior than the original Titanic. It will be the ship of love and the ultimate in style and luxury,” Mr Palmer said.

“The essence of this venture is to offer passengers an unparalleled journey back in time, immersing them fully in the opulence and splendour of life aboard the original Titanic, thus bridging a century with a voyage of unparalleled elegance,” he said.

The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but it will also circumnavigate the globe, “inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivalled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits”.

Titanic II will weigh approximately 56,000 tonnes, comprise nine decks and will be designed to recreate the grandeurs of its namesake. The vessel will have an overall length of 269 metres and a width of 32.2 metres. It will feature 835 cabins including 383 first class, 201 second class and 251 third class rooms, catering for up to 2435 passengers.

Mr Palmer said the new ship will feature modern technology and the latest navigation and safety systems. It will also feature an exact replica of The Bridge (sic) as it was in the original ship, which will be the vessel’s navigational control centre designed and configured to modern standards and regulations. It will provide a complete view of the forward and sides of the ship, from where directions and instructions will be communicated to the engine room, as well as other areas across the vessel.

Titanic II will be powered by a diesel engine and will feature four smoke stacks like the coal-powered Titanic.

“In 1912 the Titanic was the ship of dreams. For over a century Titanic’s legend has been powered by mystery, intrigue and respect for all she stood for,’’ Mr Palmer said.

Titanic II is something that needed to be built. We all know how to make war. We get armies and we fund wars. People know about that. But it is a lot harder to make peace. To make peace you have got to stick with it every day. You progress inch by inch.

Titanic II is something that can provide peace. It can be a ship of peace between all countries of the world.

“Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty. Titanic II will be the ship where those dreams come true,’’ Mr Palmer concluded.

It is unknown what sunk costs may have so-far accumulated on the project.

*Readers are invited to consult Wikipedia for a detailed and blow-by-blow account of Mr Palmer’s fog-free vision for the new ship.

*Mr Palmer’s personal super-yacht, a 56-metre vessel named Australia but registered in Malta, suffered its own near-Titanic experience when it ran aground last October off Sentosa Island, Singapore shortly after leaving its berth.