Australian tycoon plans to build Titanic II

Would you buy a ticket for the Titanic?

Karen ZraickThe New York Times
Published : 24 Oct 2018, 08:59 AM
Updated : 24 Oct 2018, 08:59 AM

That’s a dream or a nightmare, depending on whom you ask, but a colourful Australian business tycoon wants to make the option a reality.

Clive Palmer, a mining magnate and conservative politician, says his long-stated wish to build a replica of the famously opulent ship is back on after years of delays.

On Monday, he announced that his cruise ship company, Blue Star Line, would establish a European headquarters early next year, most likely in Paris, to get the Titanic II onto the high seas.

The project was originally announced in 2012, but it was suspended three years later amid a payment dispute between Palmer’s flagship company, Mineralogy, and Citic, a state-controlled Chinese company.

Late last year, a top Australian court ruled that Citic should pay the company millions in royalties from an iron ore project. The legal tangle between the two parties continues, but Palmer said the court’s ruling had spurred him to restart work on the Titanic II.

He also appointed his nephew, Clive Mensink, as the project’s European director. Mensink was previously managing director of Queensland Nickel, another of Palmer’s businesses, which collapsed in 2016. Mensink then moved to Bulgaria, and has not returned to Australia to face questioning by liquidators, leading to arrest warrants.

In a statement, Palmer said Mensink had not returned because the liquidators would not pay his travel expenses, and called him “the perfect candidate to deliver a world class experience with Titanic II.”

The company released a video rendering of the cruise ship, complete with passengers in period garb as they enjoyed the ornate formal dining rooms, a smoking room, the famed grand staircase and even a Turkish bath.

Palmer said the ship would hold 2,435 passengers in first-, second- and third-class cabins — and include more than enough room for all of them in fully enclosed, motorised lifeboats.

Palmer said his new ship would employ modern safety and navigation methods. He said it would travel a regular London-to-New York route and make other stops around the globe.

© 2018 New York Times News Service 

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher