They’re building a great ship that will be called The Titanic.
No, you haven’t suddenly found yourself back in time. Clive Palmer, chairman of Blue Star Line, the company that sailed the original Titanic on its ill-fated maiden voyage in April, 1914, is building Titanic II and staying as close as is reasonably possible to the original luxury liner’s design to give today’s elite a taste of what luxury in the early 20th century felt like.
Ticket prices will even include period costumes that guests will be expected to don to get the full experience. It will even follow the same path the original attempted: from Southampton to New York City.
This time around, at least, there’ll be enough lifeboats for all of the passengers…just in case. And one can only imagine they’ll address the design of those watertight bulkheads that didn’t extend high enough to prevent the original from sinking after it struck an iceberg.
Palmer also says he wants to avoid internet service and television on his ship. It’s hard to imagine that there’d be zero internet service available, though it’s possible that there might be only internet service to navigational systems and ship services. But no matter how far Palmer is willing to take his obsession for authenticity, it’s clear that he wants no high-tech distractions on this voyage.
It’ll be a few years past the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking, but even so, might that still be “too soon?” What happens when the ship reaches New York and begins preparing for its return voyage? If I had relatives on the original, I think I’d feel funny about seeing a new Titanic accomplish what its predecessor couldn’t. I’d hope they would acknowledge, perhaps at the hour of the sinking, the lives lost.
Then again, if I were actually on the ship — and that’d be a big if — I’d probably not want to think about that until I was back on dry land. I’d have a hard time boarding a ship named Titanic. Talk about tempting fate!
I think if it were me, I’d have named the replica the Millvina Dean, in honor of the last-remaining survivor of the Titanic, (and in tribute to all of those who were lost). Dean passed away in 2009 at age 97; I wonder what she’d have thought of this idea.
Something about the name Titanic, to me, ought to be “off limits.” What about you?
If money were no object, would you be on the Titanic II? Would you be more or less likely to sail on a replica ship named something else? Does it bother you to see a new ship carrying the Titanic name?