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Old 02-03-13, 22:48   #1
 
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New Yellow VIDEOS/PHOTOs of Titanic II Being Built for Cruises

Titanic II and III and IV? Meet the Australian Millionaire Planning his Fleet

Clive Palmer's ambitions for a replica Titanic cruise have been met with a mixture of wonder and mockery. The brash mining mogul explains why a whole fleet can bring the world together


Guardian UK, Friday 1 March 2013



Australian billionaire Clive Palmer speaks during a news conference about his intention to build the Titanic II in New York. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP

To some people the idea of building a replica of the Titanic and launching it on the high seas amid a blaze of publicity is the ultimate act of hubris sticking two fingers up at fate and inviting a future disaster.
But Clive Palmer, the brash Australian billionaire ploughing millions of dollars of his own fortune into the Titanic II project, does not even think the plan should stop there.
In his mind the future could see a fleet of Titanics afloat, each replicating the experience of the doomed 1912 original which sank after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic but launched a strange afterlife as the most famous shipwreck in history.

"I hope that in a hundred years' time people will look back and say: "Well, we are building Titanic IV and Titanic V in memory of the guys that built Titanic II." We hope that tradition can survive," he told the Guardian in an interview in New York after unveiling the blueprints for Titanic II at a packed press conference held in the bowels of an aircraft carrier-turned-museum.

Palmer's ambitions for the Titanic have created a stir across the world as he has steadily revealed more and more of his plan. Titanic II will be built in a Chinese shipyard a sign of how far the world has changed since Belfast's docks turned out the original and then set sail on its maiden voyage some time in the second half of 2016.
Building the ship was an easy decision, Palmer said. The Australian's vast mining interests that have made him one of the world's richest men already means he is heavily invested in the shipping industry.

"The idea came from our relationship with the Chinese shipyards. They are building four of our ships at the moment and they wanted to build passenger ships. So I said: 'Why don't we build the Titanic? The world is waiting to see Titanic II. Let's go'," he explained.

The new vessel will look almost exactly like the first, doomed ship. Its silhouette, complete with four graceful backwards-leaning funnels, is virtually the same and its dimensions match the original. Inside much of the original ship from the Turkish baths to a grand staircase has been replicated, even while other new features have been added. Titanic II will boast a casino, a modern engine and highly advanced satellite navigation just like any other modern cruise ship. Of course, it will also unlike the original have a large enough fleet of lifeboats to more than cover its projected 900 crew and 2,435 passengers.




A computer-rendered image of the exterior of Titanic II, due to launch in 2016. Image: Blue Star Line

Not surprisingly Palmer's plans were greeted with a mixture of wonder and mockery this week. But the portly 58-year-old Australian shrugged off some of the inevitable carping about the idea of recreating an "unsinkable" ship best known for a catastrophe that cost 1,502 people their lives. Almost every sentence he utters is a mix of broad humour and vast confidence.

"There are six and a half billion people in the world today and if you are worried about people criticising you, then you won't get out of bed of a morning, right? So I only worry about people that are very close to me. I realise that if we do anything in the world there are going to be knockers," he said.

But Palmer believes he knows what will best answer his critics. He gestures out of a window at the Hudson River that is visible behind him. "Those knockers will sit in Manhattan in a bar with their salty pretzel and a beer when Titanic II sails into here with an armada of ships, with the media in a frenzy and helicopters buzzing and the world knowing that Titanic II has completed the journey that was started in 1912," he said.

Palmer has every intention of being on board when that happens and there can be little doubt about his genuine passion for the Titanic. But it is one of many. He maintains a fleet of more than 100 vintage cars, owns five private jets and has an extensive dinosaur fossil collection. Prior to the Titanic he explored the idea of building a Zeppelin airship. His business life saw him create one fortune from property that saw him retire in his 40s only to get bored with travelling the world. So he returned to business, invested in mining and built a global empire.
In Australia he is a controversial figure, accused by some of being a self-interested plutocrat who dabbles in politics and yet others see him as a local boy made good on the world stage.

But why rebuild the Titanic? Palmer explains that his love for the ship comes from an appreciation of the Edwardian age with its manners and old fashioned attitudes. "It was how men treated women, the code of chivalry and old English school attitude," he said. "That is certainly gone to a certain extent today. Too many people spend all their time on the internet tweeting all day. As John Lennon said: 'Life is something that happens to you while you are doing something else.' Titanic II is a chance to stop, ponder and take a look at yourself," he added.





An image of the grand staircase in the Titanic II. Photograph: /Blue Star Line

Those are nice words, though it is not exactly clear how Titanic II is going to do that. Palmer's current plans seem aimed at creating an Edwardian theme park on the waves where passengers will have the option of wearing period dress. In an odd move, Palmer aims to replicate the class structure of the Titanic right down to the steerage class inhabited by poor immigrants on their way to a new life in America.
But then you realise that Palmer who is the son of Australian silent movie star George Palmer appears to be in love with James Cameron's movie Titanic as much as the historical ship. Instead of talking about the Titanic disaster, with its class-ridden horrors as the rich saved themselves and the poor drowned, Palmer speaks of Titanic II as a symbol of love and togetherness as if Cameron's doomed movie lovers Rose and Jack were real people.

"Titanic II is an opportunity for people all over the glove to come together with an idea. That idea of course is one of love and understanding. It emphasises the things that we have got in common, rather than our differences. A family, you know, someone to fall in love with in our lives as we travel together through time," he said.

But even if Palmer is indeed obsessed with the cinematic Titanic rather than the historical facts behind it, that does not mean he has not stumbled upon a hit idea. Already more than 40,000 people have applied for Titanic II's maiden voyage, including some offering up to a million dollars for a first class cabin. Just like Cameron, Palmer is finding that with the Titanic and Titanic II it is image that people are after. And in that image there might just be a massive business opportunity.

After all, a ship by any other name would just be another cruise liner. "My interest comes from your interest," Palmer said candidly. "Every person around the world is interested in the Titanic. It is a fascination."
END




Over 40,000 people have already applied for tickets. Anyone want to buy one for me?


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Old 02-03-13, 23:14   #2
 
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Default Re: VIDEOS/PHOTOs of Titanic II Being Built for Cruises






However....

Titanic II Will Be Built in China



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