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.
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?
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.
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...
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.
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