I have a confession: I didn't go to a press event in New York to unveil more details about the "Titanic II." And I regret it.
Because then I would have heard, firsthand, Australian tycoon Clive Palmer talk about his vision of recreating the Titanic. And it sounds … well, it sounds …. well, it sounds like the ship would be a pretty near replica of the original Titanic, though without steam propulsion and with air conditioning, and without balconies and probably without Internet (N.B.: how are they getting that majestic oak staircase past Safety of Life at Sea standards?). And passengers get to wear Edwardian-era clothing. AND it is called the Titanic. Cue the press bonanza.
Here are just a handful of the 1,000-plus articles on the web today with the term "Titanic II" in them.
From Forbes: "Palmer is not making a contemporary cruise ship that happens to look like the Titanic. Oh, no, he is making the first full-scale reenactment of the 20th century. Passengers will be supplied with authentic period costumes appropriate to their ticket class (first, second and third) and they will eat and socialize with others of their caste."
From USA Today: "The Australian businessman, who owns an Australian mining company and other businesses, said he has received an overwhelming response from prospective passengers who want to travel on Titanic II. He predicted that it 'will be a real financial bonanza' so successful that he will 'have to build Titanic III.'
"Some Titanic and cruise-ship experts doubt the Titanic II, which Palmer says will regularly sail across the North Atlantic, will be able to attract enough passengers after its maiden voyage. Some also question whether the new cruise ship desecrates the memory of those who died on the Titanic."
From Mashable: "It will make its maiden voyage on 2016 from Southhampton, England to New York, carrying 2,600 passengers in 850 cabins. It will employ about 900 crew members. The length will be three inches longer than the original at 883 feet and include 18 lifeboats — enough for everyone on board."
From ABCnews.com: "When asked about the original ship sinking and what makes his design different, Palmer said, 'Anything will sink if you put a hole in it. I think it would be very cavalier to say it. I think people in the past have done that and lived to regret it.'"
From Reuters: "Titanic II will be built by Chinese state-owned CSC Jinling Shipyard, which is already building four ore carriers for Palmer's mining business, he said. The contract to build Titanic II has not yet been signed, Palmer said.
"'Oh, probably next week, something like that,' Palmer said, when asked when that would happen. 'Most things I say I'll do I do.'"