SYDNEY // Clive Palmer, an Australian billionaire, aims to build a 21st-century replica of the Titanic and sail it from England to New York accompanied by the Chinese navy.
The plan for the maiden voyage is 2016, and Mr Palmer has already signed a first-stage agreement with Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing to build the liner as part of a planned fleet of luxury cruise ships.
"It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but of course it will have state-of-the-art, 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," said Mr Palmer, 58, whose investments include property developments, coal and iron-ore mining projects.
"We have invited the Chinese navy to escort Titanic II on its maiden voyage to New York," he added after declining to reveal how much the Titanic II would cost.
Commissioned by the White Star Line, the Titanic was the largest liner in the world at just under 270 metres long and 53 metres high. It sank after hitting an iceberg east of Newfoundland on April 15, 1912, claiming the lives of 1,514 passengers and crew members.
Among those killed was Benjamin Guggenheim, an heir to the Guggenheim mining and smelting empire.
Mr Palmer's ship will have the same dimensions as the original Titanic, with 840 rooms on nine decks as well as gymnasiums, swimming pools, libraries and restaurants.
"This will be a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic," said the mining magnate, who has a personal fortune of A$5.05 billion (Dh19.37bn).
* Bloomberg News and AP