Plans to build a life-size sailing replica of the Titanic look set to go ahead after it was revealed that the shipyard chosen to build the ocean liner has begun upgrading its facilities in preparation of the forthcoming construction work.
Titanic II is to be built at CSC Jinling Shipyard Company in Nanjing, China, and is being funded by Australian billionaire businessman Clive Palmer.
The ship will take three years to build and will be constructed to the same dimensions as the Belfast-built White Star liner - 270 metres long, 53 metres high and weighing 40,000 tonnes.
It will have nine floors and 840 cabins, accommodating 2,400 passengers and 900 crew members, along with Turkish baths, a swimming pool and gymnasiums.
Its exterior will be an exact replica of the ill-fated vessel but engineers will incorporate the latest technology when it comes to engines and electronics.
It will also remain faithful to the classifications of the original ship with passengers able to buy first, second and third class tickets.
The shipyard’s director Ge Biao, told China's Xinhua news agency: 'It's difficult to replicate a luxury liner, but Jinling Shipyard has a history of 60 years of building various kinds of vessels with high quality.'
Titanic II is expected to make its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 2016 along the same route that the original ship sailed.
A spokesman for the shipyard, Li Wenbao, told the Sunday Times newspaper: 'The liner will be equipped with advanced technologies including the latest life-saving and communications systems, to meet the requirements of modern navigation.'
Mr Palmer’s company is reported to have been inundated with enquiries from potential passengers, with some offering up to $1m (£640,000) for a chance to be on the maiden voyage.
The original Titanic set sail from Southampton on April 10, 1912 and was thought to be unsinkable at the time.
But the ship hit an iceberg in the Atlantic on April 14, 1912 and sank the following morning, killing 1,517 passengers and crew.
A special cruise recreated the voyage of the Titanic last year to commemorate 100 years since the ship sank.
MS Balmoral set sail from Southampton with the exact same number of passengers as the famous liner that sank on its maiden voyage.
Passengers onboard the 12-night cruise included relatives of people who died onboard the Titanic and a memorial service was held at the spot where the original ship struck an iceberg and sank.
By TravelMail Reporter, Dailymail.co.uk
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