Uh Oh Are We Already In Trouble Yet? Sans Icebergs, Maiden Voyage of Titanic II Excites and Intrigues the World

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 19, 2013 5:08 PM EST

This time hopefully, with the aid of technology and satellite mapping, the much-hyped Titanic II would be able to make a full maiden voyage of the world and return back in one piece with all its onboard travelers still alive and breathing normally.

Over the weekend in China, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer invited 600 guests to a black tie affair gala dinner in Macau to see if there is much interest in the ship's maiden voyage. It is Mr Palmer who is financing the construction of the Titanic replica, aptly named Titanic II, which will be built by state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard Co Ltd.

During the gala dinner in China, guests dressed in furs and tuxedos were fed on an eleven-course meal selection concocted to replicate what was fed to the passengers aboard the original ill-fated Titanic on the night before it sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, eventually killing 1,500 passengers.

Mr Palmer said they have actually received eager interests from at least 40,000 people to board the Titanic II, where 35 per cent come from China.

"Why build the Titanic? Why go to the moon? Why did Hong Kong and Macau stand up and become part of China?" Mr Palmer said. "Because they could. And they can. And we can build the Titanic."

But then, the very Chinese people seem loathe to the idea of the ship being built by China.

"They've really got guts. You see how many collapsing bridges there are in China, and how much 'tofu-style' construction there is, and they still dare to do it," an unidentified microblogger was quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

"Titanic II is being built by a Chinese shipyard!! How stupid. Do you want to re-enact the original ending?" another microblogger said.

CSC Jinling Shipyard Co Ltd said it will take three years to build the luxury liner.

"The world's leading shipyards and ship design companies, including Finland's Deltamarin, have been invited to join the construction work of Titanic II," Li Wenbao, spokesman for Jinling Shipyard, was quoted by China Daily.

"The liner will be equipped with advanced technologies, including the latest life-saving and communications systems, to meet the requirements of modern navigation," Li said.

Titanic II, a 270-meter-long and 53-meter-high liner, will have nine floors and 840 rooms. It will be equipped with gymnasiums, swimming pools, deluxe cabins as well as libraries. It is estimated to employ 900 crew members and can accommodate 2,400 passengers. The liner's maiden voyage has been scheduled for 2016, from England to North America, the original Titanic's planned route.

And for you lovestruck couples, Chinese or not, a Celine Dion song for you:

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