Australia billionaire to launch "unsinkable" Titanic

Reuters News

4/30/2012 1:59:05 PM - Reuters News

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian billionaire announced plans on Monday to build an "unsinkable" version of the Titanic, 100 years after the original sank after hitting an iceberg.

Titanic II is expected to make its maiden voyage from England to North America, the old Titanic route, in late 2016.

"It is going to be designed so it won't sink," mining and tourism tycoon Clive Palmer told reporters. "It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn't happen."

The original Titanic, the largest liner in world when it was launched and dubbed "virtually unsinkable" at the time, sank after hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912, killing 1,517 passengers and crew.

Palmer said his new shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty Ltd, had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese state-owned company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build Titanic II. The original ship was operated by the White Star Line.

The design work had started for the new Titanic, which will have the same dimension as its old version with 840 rooms and nine decks.

(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Nick Macfie)