Shipbuilders are due to lay the keel of a replica of the ill-fated liner Titanic by the end of the year.
Titanic 2 is to be built in China with the backing of an Australian business mogul, Clive Palmer.
At 883 feet long and costing £400 million to build, Titanic 2 is a massive project.
Every detail, except modern health and safety equipment, will be a faithful replica of the original, which sank on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, in April 1912.
Palmer’s Blue Star Line aims to repeat the ship’s disastrous first voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg, France, then to Ireland and across the Atlantic to New York.
The original Titanic sunk around 375 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada, killing more than 1,500 of the 2,200 passengers and crew.
Palmer claims the ship is being resurrected as a tribute to the original builders.
After the maiden voyage, Titanic 2 is expected to berth as a floating hotel and museum in Dubai.
“Talks are underway with various Dubai companies that want to buy into the Titanic brand,” said a spokesman for The Blue Star Line, the company building the replica liner.
“It’s a story everyone knows and that has entertained generations.”
Cabins for the inaugural voyage will not be cheap – although no prices are yet set.
The company claims almost 20 passengers are willing to pay between £500,000 and £850,000 for first-class berths.
“That’s nowhere near what we’ll be asking, but gives some idea of what the demand is like for this exciting project,” said the spokesman. “Something like 40,000 people have already registered an interest in the voyage on our website and the ship only takes around 1,500 passengers.”
Titanic 1 was lauded as ‘unsinkable’ thanks to a revolutionary design of a series of watertight compartments that locked in the event of a hull breach.
This was the main factor in the sinking as once water started flooding into the ship, the weight of the water quickly dragged the Titanic under the waves once a ‘tipping point’ was reached.
Hundreds died trapped aboard the liner or in the icy seas before help could get to them.
The captain’s over-confidence in his unsinkable vessel also contributed to the death toll as the crew delayed giving an alert to abandon ship.
Although a ‘replica’, Titanic 2 has many construction differences from the original and will carry more lifeboats and safety features demanded of modern passenger shipping.