Australian mining tycoon funds build of Titanic II - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Australian mining tycoon funds building of Titanic II

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In 2016, the sight of the Titanic will become a 21st century reality in New York City. (Source: WCBS/CNN) In 2016, the sight of the Titanic will become a 21st century reality in New York City. (Source: WCBS/CNN)
An image of the Titanic II sailing into the New York City Harbor as it would have in 1912. (Source: WCBS/CNN) An image of the Titanic II sailing into the New York City Harbor as it would have in 1912. (Source: WCBS/CNN)

(RNN) - More than 100 years after its tragic sinking, the Titanic is coming back to life.

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is funding the construction of a luxury cruise ship to replicate the world's most famous sunken ship. Construction of the Titanic II will start in a few months, and it will set sail in 2016.

Palmer first announced the plans for construction in April 2012.

At a news conference in New York City on Tuesday, Palmer said he wanted to respectfully pay homage to those who built the ship and those who perished.

"It's important to remember the courage they had, what they did and what they stood for," Palmer said. "I think the Titanic is a romantic concept."

The construction of the ship will be paid for by Palmer's shipping company, Blue Star Line at the CSC Jinling Shipyard in China. The original Titanic was commissioned by the White Star Line.

The Titanic II's voyage in 2016 will sail the same path as its predecessor from Southampton, England to New York City.

Palmer said several prospective voyagers have expressed interest. Some have offered to pay upwards of $1 million per cabin, according to CNN.

The ship will have the same interior and cabin layout as the original, with one important deviation. Palmer said it will have "130 percent more (life rafts) than is required under regulations on life-saving devices."

The original Titanic didn't have enough lifeboats for all the passengers, and most of those weren't filled to capacity when the ship went down.

The new ship will be equipped with modern amenities, like air conditioning. Other modern luxuries, such as a helicopter pad and satellite technology will be on board.

"Titanic II will be the ultimate in comfort and luxury with on-board gymnasiums and swimming pools, libraries, high-class restaurants and luxury cabins," Palmer said in a press release.

Other changes from the original are below the water including technology for increased fuel efficiency and movement.

The billionaire has not announced how much his project will cost.

Both Palmer and Markku Kanerva, director of sales for marine design company Deltmarin, stopped short of stating whether the ship is unsinkable, like the original Titanic builders boasted.

"Anything will sink if you put a hole in it. I think it would be very cavalier to say it," said Palmer at his news conference. "I think people in the past have done that and lived to regret it."

But both insist it will be the safest ship in the world.

The original Titanic set sail on April 10, 1912 and was the largest and most technologically advanced ship in the world for the time.

On April 15, 1912, the large ocean liner collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic, sinking it. In all, 1,500 passengers aboard the ship died, with only 700 survivors.

The story was turned into the 1997 movie of the same name, once the highest grossing film of all-time.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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