The RMS Titanic is arguably the most famous ship to ever set sail - and not for a good reason. The mighty passenger liner, notably described as "unsinkable," sank in the North Atlantic on the morning of April 15, 1912, a mere two days away from its scheduled arrival in New York City. In doing so, the doomed vessel inspired a litany of retellings, at least one Oscar-winning film, and a handful of attempts at a real-life sailing sequel, including the Titanic II, due to make its maiden voyage in 2022.
The Titanic II project, the brainchild of Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, is an ambitious one, and it's already run into numerous setbacks. However, similar to the survivors of the original Titanic, those behind the endeavor have persevered. And Palmer hopes that just like some of the supposed treasures that sank with the Titanic, this project will one day prove to be incredibly lucrative.
The RMS Titanic was an unprecedented tragedy for a multitude of reasons, including design flaws, inadequate safety protocols, and human error - but the most substantial factor in the disaster was undoubtedly the massive iceberg that pierced the vessel's hull.
Ice is much less of a threat now, but the designers of the Titanic II are making some anti-iceberg upgrades anyway. The new ship will have a welded hull instead of a riveted one, which should make for greater durability, and it's slightly wider for stability. Plus, modern navigation equipment makes it unlikely the ship will have a surprise encounter with a foreign object.
The Titanic II will be operating under the Blue Star Line company, a take on the White Star Line shipping company responsible for the original Titanic. Australian billionaire and politician Clive Palmer founded the business.
In 2019, Forbes estimated Palmer's net worth to be approximately $1.8 billion.
When the Titanic II project was first announced in 2012, it didn't take long for Twitter to light up with jokes about the necessity of adding a few extra lifeboats to the blueprints. The original Titanic was infamously understocked with such vessels, resulting in the loss of more than 1,500 passengers and crew.
Safety measures will be different this time around. The minds behind Titanic II have claimed their ship won't be an identical replica, and they'll include a large number of additional boats.
The RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912, and was scheduled to arrive in New York City a week later. The ship descended to the bottom of the Atlantic in the early morning hours of April 15. One might expect the Titanic II to mimic this maiden voyage - minus the plummet - but that won't be the case.
Blue Star Line Chairman Clive Palmer announced that the first trip, scheduled for 2022, will set out from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The final destination will still be New York City, so the sequel ship will pass through the area where the original intersected with an iceberg.