You don’t want to miss this one—the maiden voyage of Titanic II sailing from England to New York in 2016. Gazillionaire Australian coal magnet, Clive Palmer, is set to launch the 21st century version of the ill-fated ocean liner that went down in the icy Atlantic a hundred years ago this month. Titanic II will mimic its luxurious predecessor in detail and dimension, from the company name, Blue Star Line, to its lofty layout of 840 rooms and 9 decks.
But there are two major differences worth noting. Below water line, the structure will be state-of-the-art, when it comes to technology, power generation and maneuverability. That will undoubtedly be comforting to the new passengers, who will certainly recall how the first unsinkable ship crumbled in the presence of an iceberg, resulting in the loss of 1,514 passengers and crew.
But there is little comfort in knowing that the Chinese will be building the vessel, not the Irish this time around. What’s more, Palmer has asked the Chinese navy to escort the ship on its first voyage to New York. Some have suggested that having the Chinese navy sail into New York harbor uninvited would be much like having a Trojan Horse roll up to the gates of Troy.
Then again, think of the carryout business that enterprising New York food trucks might create with ship loads of sailors, who’ve never tasted General Tso’s Chicken or Pizza Wontons, or been amused by crispy, cellophane wrapped Fortune Cookies.