Cruise Ship Will Emulate White Star Liner
An Australian company named Blue Star Line has announced a plan to launch a replica Olympic Class ocean liner and name her Titanic 2. Now, I’m not one to dwell on The Titanic. I admire the Olympic Class to be certain and I have a fascination with shipwrecks that borders on the obsessive. However, I’ve got to say, building a theme ship that associates so closely with disaster leaves me just a little uneasy.
Having stated that, would I board Titanic 2 and set sail with her? Definitely, without hesitation, and it may eventually come to pass because the project to build Titanic 2 is looking more and more likely to reach completion.
A Retro-Styled Ocean Liner Theme Ship
The Titanic 2 is to be a modern cruise ship that meets all current SOLAS standards while replicating the experience of steaming across the sea one hundred years ago. This dichotomy will be apparent below the waterline, in the azipod propulsion, bow thrusters, roll stabilizers and above with a discreetly situated abundance of modern lifeboats. The proportions will be slightly different to reduce draft and increase stability.
This will be a modern ship, with the goal of providing a theme-park experience at sea. Wrapped around the modernity and grafted on as a facade, will be the passenger experience of 1912. The cabin layout and class system will replicate White Star’s service, somewhat. There will be allowances for modern conveniences but the scale and decor will reflect the Titanic.
Where’s All This Steam Coming From?
The driving force behind the project is Australian industrialist Clive Palmer and Blue Star Line, the company he formed for this project. Palmer made his fortune in mining and has been buying up failing businesses and whipping them into shape for years. He’s also found time to pursue his dream of rebuilding the ship and run for public office.
Media descriptions and interviews make him out to be both shrewd and goodhearted. He seems like the sort to be a leader of bold projects, of which the World needs more, to be sure.
A Maritime Project In Progress
The first public announcement was made at a press conference in April of 2012. Initial agreement had been reached to build the new ship, with Sinotrans & CSC Jinling Shipyard in China, a state owned enterprise. Finnish maritime design bureau Deltamarin Ltd. jumped on board shortly thereafter and the project has been moving ahead with a projected launch date in 2016.
The momentum has continued to grow, with the official launch party at a gala event aboard the USS Intrepid, in New York City in February 2013. Since then V.Ships Management has joined as the management services partner and Tillberg Design has been appointed to create the interior design. Further information is available under the project’s Wikipedia Entry.
Olympic Class Doppelganger – R.M.S. Olympic
The R.M.S. Olympic, pictured below, was the lead ship of her class and sister to R.M.S Titanic and H.M.H.S. Britannic. Apart from an unfortunate incident where she plowed over a light ship, she had a long and productive life as a passenger liner on the Atlantic route. As the first ship of her class she was built in 1910 and her fame was eclipsed by the sinking of her sister two years later. As a true lover of ocean liners she represents all that was great about these ships. In her day she even drew attention for being Titanic’s sister. So, a new vessel in her name would not be unprecedented in the association to Titanic.
What is in a name? Well, there’s symbolism for a start. R.M.S. Titanic’s notoriety and fame from the James Cameron movie ensured that her name lives as well as the widely publicized expeditions to her wreck. Her long serving sister is forgotten. It may be that to build Olympic 2 and attempt to promote her voyages would only elicit blank stares and shrugs. But the fame of Titanic does have mixed associations; widely known but met a tragic end.
Cue The Cheesy King of The World Poses
Many questions loom over this project and, while there is no reason to think that it won’t be successful, do you really want to name a ship after a plunger like the Titanic? Nautical tradition and superstition have long held that it is, perhaps, in poor taste to do so. However, it does look like it’s going to happen.
Will there be an initial interest due to the novelty factor that can’t be sustained in the long term? That remains to be seen. Supposedly the builders are less than experienced in fabricating ships of this type. Are their estimates and scheduling realistic? Unforeseen issues could lead to delays and added costs. In any case I wish Blue Star Lines all of the luck they’ll need to pull it off. This is definitely a project to keep an eye on. I’ve already created a new blogging category for it in anticipation of future news.Please bookmark, subscribe by RSS or join us on your preferred social media site. Check back from time to time as updates on the status of the project come into The Liners of The Ocean Website.