And it's now become mired in further controversy. Titanic II was initially meant to launch in 2016 but, following a dispute between Palmer's mining company and the Chinese firm Citic, funds were drained from the project, and the completion date was subsequently put back to 2018. However, in 2017 the Supreme Court of Western Australia ruled that Citic had to pay Palmer's mining company AU$150 million ($113m/£82.4m) in unpaid royalties, and as a result the Titanic II project came back to life. In late 2018 Blue Star Line announced construction on the ship had started up again with a new completion date of 2022 revealed.
However, doubts have been cast over whether the ship's construction ever started, let alone restarted after Palmer's legal issues were resolved. China's CSC Jingling Shipyard in Jiangsu was thought to be responsible for building the ship, as reported during an interview segment with Palmer on 60 Minutes Australia in 2013, but in 2018 it was reported that a Blue Star Liner spokesperson stated that the ship was "most likely" to be built in the Northern hemisphere, suggesting that work on the ship had not even begun...
In February 2020 the company indicated via its Facebook page that announcements on the project's status would come later that year, but now two year later no more information has been released yet and our requests for an update have received no replies. As Clive Palmer has presided over a series of grandiose failed projects, including a replica Zeppelin and a Jurassic Park-themed resort, many wonder if the Titanic II will ever come to fruition...
But it's not the only Titanic project in the pipeline. Read on for the story of the Unsinkable Titanic.
The project was announced in 2014 to much fanfare at a press conference in Hong Kong, which featured top-name Chinese celebs. Bernard Hill, the actor who played Captain Edward Smith in the 1997 Titanic movie, was even roped in to take part in the event.
But the build missed its 2017 completion date, and in February 2019 it was reported that construction was still underway. The latest update came in April 2021 when the project's Facebook account shared photos and videos of the construction site. But while the project's social media accounts have shown that the ship is being built, the project is far from finished and no revised date has been given for its completion, just lots of rumours.
And construction timelines aren't the only issue. As with Titanic II, the Unsinkable Titanic has attracted a number of critics, who feel the project is tasteless and trivialises the tragedy by exploiting it as an entertainment experience. According to Curtis Schnell, however, the project is being developed in “a very respectful way”. UK newspapers reported in August 2021 that the ship had been adandoned. We've approached Romandisea for an update several times but no one has responded to us.
Don't have the patience to hold out for a full-size replica? You can pay a visit to one of America's half-scale Titanic copies. The Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri and its sister establishment in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee have impressive half-scale reproductions of the iconic liner.
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