Titanic II: Meet the worst sequel ever

An Australian billionaire is building a replica of the doomed ship to cruise the Northern Atlantic. Fate has never been tempted on such a grand scale.

By Jason Notte Feb 27, 2013 3:41PM

Blueprints for Titanic II cruise ship, USS Intrepid, announced by Clive Palmer on February 26, 2013 (© Erik Pendzich/Rex/Rex Features)Sorry, Celine, but apparently love can touch us more than one time and still last for a lifetime.


On an already long list of well-intentioned, but regrettable Titanic tributes that include the re-release of James Cameron's 1997 film in 3D last year and Valentine's Day suitors presenting their would-be Kate Winslets with replica Heart of the Ocean pendants from Amazon, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer on Tuesday announced plans to build a new version of the ill-fated ship.


He also wants to follow the same North Atlantic route from Southampton, England, to New York City, and he says some 40,000 people have already expressed interest.

Twitter users' fast trending reaction: Good luck with that. 


Between comparisons to the sequester spending cuts, over-under estimates on the number of nude sketches commissioned on the first voyage, suggestions that a post-global-warming North Atlantic might be friendlier to Leonardo DiCaprio this time around and a whole lot of links to this Onion front page, Palmer's project is drawing far more amateur comedians than customers at this point. In Palmer's view, however, some of them may have a point.


"One of the benefits of global warming is there hasn't been as many icebergs in the North Atlantic these days," Palmer said while unveiling his plans at New York's Intrepid Air and Space Museum.


If that's the kind of science passengers can expect for this voyage, Skrillex better start working on that "Nearer My God To Thee" remix for the cruise's final scream-filled deck party. Just five years ago, The Telegraph reported that NASA had spotted more icebergs than ever off the Canadian coast, thanks to global warming's damaging effect on the ice caps.


As if it weren't folly enough to replicate a cruise in which only 700 of 2,200 passengers survived, let's broaden the scope of bad ideas a bit more. Markku Kanerva, director of sales for Finnish company Deltamarin that's designing the ship, is already calling it "the safest cruise ship in the world." As a reminder, its predecessor's builders considered Titanic unsinkable.


Mashable also notes that all passengers will be in early-1900s costumes for the maiden voyage. Good, because it wouldn't be authentic without all that billowing formalwear to help male passengers masquerade as women or to weigh women down in freezing Arctic waters.


Besides, cruise ships not named Titanic have fared just fine at sea in recent years. Isn't that right, Costa Concordia passengers?


More on moneyNOW

Feb 27, 2013 11:33PM
I'm on the fence about this one. 

On one hand, I think building an exact replica, with today's safety standards of course, is a nice idea. Actually getting to tour or set sail on this ship would be a great historical experience.

On the other hand, I'd be too afraid of tempting fate.  It would be just too ironic if it suffered the same fate as it's predecessor.
Feb 27, 2013 10:50PM
Should be renamed : USS BestBuy, which is a very accurate name for a sinking ship. :)
Feb 27, 2013 10:16PM
Actually there will be more icebergs being calved, not fewer. There is no "benefit" to global warming at all! And it was unusually warm in April 101 years ago; ships' captains had to plot courses farther south to skirt the worst of the bergs, pack ice & growlers.
There are more than a few criticisms about this whole fantasy, none of which have to do with jinxes or karma.  One is this: this bloke does NOT own the rights to the name Titanic, much less the design. At last recollection, the name at least is owned by RMS Titanic Inc., who own the actual wreck site. The design for the Olympic-class ocean liners is most likely still kept by Cunard Line, who bought out White Star Line after the Olympic's disastrous crash into the Nantucket Lightship forced them into bankruptcy. Besides, the design is flawed; not just the most obvious ones that killed Titanic, but others not many people are familiar with. The Olympic through her entire existence suffered cracks in her superstructure, and experienced "panting:" a heaving in and out of the ship's hull. This is why Titanic and Brittanic both had closed & glazed Promenade decks: to address these structural shortcomings. But modern ship architecture has left the Olympic-class a century behind. Modern ships have bow thrusters, a bow bulb that more efficiently cuts through water, azipod-style main thrusters instead of the old propellers & rudder design; the CGI graphic I saw has none of these modern elements (and you can have both the knife-edge bow of the Titanic AND the bulb, and still keep the homage!). On top of this--literally--there will be three dummy funnels instead of one, as this guy is also trying to replicate the four-funnel profile of the original!
While there will be novelty-seekers willing to dish out $1 MILLION per bed for the "privilege" of sailing her maiden voyage, there will be NO WAY he can run that ship long enough to justify the enormous costs involved, both with construction and operation. I've heard he intends to have it built in China for the slave labour there... which turns me off permanently from him on those grounds alone! And the shoestring operation needed to offset the construction costs? Recall the Oceanos near-miss; all passengers managed to get rescued... but no thanks to the captain & crew, who took all the lifeboats and abandoned them all on a sinking ship! No guarantees that WON'T happen here in case of an emergency!
One other thing: he isn't the only one who floated the idea of a Titanic-replica. This idea has been kicked around for an excess of 30 years. Each time they decided it wasn't worth the costs! Should say something...

Feb 27, 2013 10:03PM
No.  I think "Fiscal Cliff, 2013" is going to be the worst sequel ever.  "Fiscal Cliff, 2012" was poorly portrayed, poorly performed and poorly managed.  I think "Fiscal Cliff, 2013" will be no better.  If anyone wants to see ineffectiveness, they only need to look at Government.  Nothing matches it!  Constant bickering, almost no progress at all. Congress should not be paid 176,000 yearly for a part time job.  I have told at least two that.  One did reply through another person and the other hasn't had the decency to reply.  I don't expect an invitation to supper from either of them.  That is not what I wanted in the first place.  But, I do think unless we tell them, then they have no way of knowing our feelings.  I expect another "11th hour compromise" by sometime tomorrow before midnight. Even though "Fiscal Cliff, 2012" didn't reach a compromise until 2013.  We should be in Fiscal Cliff now, but we aren't.  We won't be on March 1, 2013 either.  I personally wish they would shut the government down to save money.  But, they won't.
Feb 27, 2013 9:57PM
The Titanic was an ocean liner, not a cruise ship.
Feb 27, 2013 9:56PM
What's the big deal about this ship?  It was poorly designed and engineered from defective steel hardening processess to a rudder being way to small for the size of the ship.  Get off this shipwreck and let the world have some peace.
Feb 27, 2013 9:32PM
pardon me, i meant to say shelly winters....oooooppppppssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 27, 2013 9:28PM
good idea, but keep sally struther's the hell away!!
Feb 27, 2013 9:22PM
Probably a fire will start in the engine room and the ship will be without power on its maiden voyage.  You know, those shake down problems that crop up in new engine rooms.  Better learn how to crap in a plastic bag.
Feb 27, 2013 9:21PM

I say "Bon Voyage"!  It's only fitting that the grand ship "Titanic" be allowed to finally complete its maiden voyage.  I just wish it wasn't going to read "Made in China" in small print.

Feb 27, 2013 9:12PM
Hey people, the rich guy earned the money, it's his money, he can do what he wants to with it.  Glad you are enjoying the wealth you earned in your life.  Unlike Obama who is only good at spending and wasting other peoples money, this guy is spending his money.  The people you have to feel sorry for are Warren Buffett's family.  He is leaving his vast fortune to charity and a year after his death no one will even remember this poor slob.  At least Walton of Wal-mart left his fortune to his family and several remain the wealthiest in the U.S.  Imagine Buffet's money going to welfare recipients who can raise more welfare recipients.  What a waste.  Would be great to have a remake of the Titanic,  the wealthy need as many playgrounds as the world can provide.
Feb 27, 2013 8:54PM
Fate dislikes bravado and has a nasty habit of punishing stupidity.  It dealt harshly with one "unsinkable" ship named Titanic; why tempt it by building a modern replica to sail the same North Atlantic route AND christen it with the same cursed name?  Build the ship if the foolhardy owner insists, but sail the vessel in southern waters, or give it another name, any other name, if he is determined to track the Titanic's fateful North Atlantic route.
Feb 27, 2013 7:50PM
Not sure about this.  Seems to me there is allot better ways to spend that kind of money.  Kinda morbid and disrespectful of all the people that died on that ship.  I hope none of the living relatives are hurt by this.
Feb 27, 2013 6:02PM
I'm not sure if I would buy a ticket for that one. It's kind of like telling God that he or she cant sink this one too.
Feb 27, 2013 5:58PM
I heard that a replica of Titanic was going to be built about 7 or 8 years ago.....and that the original ( planned ) route would be retraced.   At that time, they were saying the reservations were booked solid.   This must be the same guy....but there was a delay or something.
Feb 27, 2013 5:47PM
Feb 27, 2013 5:38PM
I was think along the lnes of the article when I first a article about the rebuild. Seems like they are just tempting fate a little too much. You would have to be some king of nut to get on a ship modeled after one that sank, wear the same style clothes on the same route. About the only way I would get close to that thing would be if Kate Whinslet was acutally going to be on it.
Feb 27, 2013 5:33PM
Obama must be the Captain. It's certain to sink. 
Feb 27, 2013 5:30PM
This time design the bulkheads so they go above E deck.
Feb 27, 2013 5:20PM

Doubling down on what went down? Or staying too long at them brandy-and-ceegar get-togethers with the boys?


Either way, you'd better have unprecedented security on the hull the whole voyage. This is wearing a target if ever there was one!

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