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Billionaire to Sail Exact Replica of the Titanic. Can We Put Some Bankers On It?

Those crazy 1 percenters. What will they think of next?

Australian mining mogul Clive Palmer has announced his plans to build Titanic II, an exact replica of the famously jinxed ocean liner, and sail it across the Atlantic. Palmer, who once nuttily accused Greenpeace of being funded by the CIA to take down Australia's coal mining industry, unveiled his blueprints at a news conference in New York on Tuesday. He cited a desire to pay tribute to those who built and backed the original.

So far, 40,000 applicants willing to pay up to a million bucks a head for a first class cabin have scrambled for the chance to participate in the maiden voyage in 2016. A Downton Abbey-style frolic amid Edwardian splendor is not cheap, but here's what you get:  A crew of 900 will cater to 2,435 passengers, and just like the first time, there will be Turkish baths, a grand staircase and a gymnasium. Only this time a helicopter pad and WiFi will be available.

The original Titanic was famously divided into three classes: the poor and immigrants suffered in steerage while the rich disported themselves in first class. Palmer says that travelers will be divided this time, too, and authentic period costumes will be offered for each ticket level.  Palmer, who likes to be called "The Professor", jested that he wanted to travel in steerage because that’s where all the fun would be. “I will be in third class,” said Palmer. “I will enjoy it.”

No actual poor people in steerage, mind you. Just rich people having fun pretending. Whoopie!

Which leaves a burning question in the mind. According to The Guardian, the “jovial and brash mogul…refused to be drawn into predicting that his new boat would be ‘unsinkable’ – and thus avoided repeating an act of hubris that the backers of the first Titanic famously made. “ He said that his boat, which is being assembled in China, is perfectly safe and joked that global warming had reduced the number of icebergs. Palmer warns, though, that “anything can sink if you put a hole in it.” Hmm…