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  1. ITV Report

Titanic II to set sail: Billionaire funds 2016 launch

The original titanic which sank after it struck an iceberg in April 1912 Photo: Reuters

A high-tech replica of the Titanic is to be built and is to make its maiden voyage in 2016, an Australian billionaire announced.

The news comes just weeks after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the luxurious ocean liner which struck an iceberg on April 15 1912, costing more than 1,500 lives.

Clive Palmer said: "We're planning that when it's completed in 2016, it will sail from Shanghai to London with an escort from the Chinese navy. We will be inviting the Royal Navy to escort its maiden voyage across to New York and the US and give it an escort back to London.

"We think it will be a great achievement, also be a great tribute to the people who designed the original Titanic. It was certainly their intention that their work and their skill and their endevours survived into the future and we think we've got a vested interest in ensuring that it survives into the next century."

Clive Palmer, who has not revealed the cost of Titanic II, said he had established a new shipping company, Blue Start Line Pty. Ltd, which had commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard to build and coordinate the construction of the ship.