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  1. ITV Report

Titanic to sail again amid mixed reactions

Artists impression of the Titanic II Photo: Blue Star Line

An Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, will today announce he is going ahead with plans to build a full size replica of the Titanic.

It will, of course, have all the latest safety measures, but in all other ways will be the same.

It will have a replica ornate staircase, Turkish baths, smoking rooms, and even the same "Marconi room" where the Titanic sent out its final SOS. Passengers will even be provided with early-20th-century-style clothes and undergarments in their cabins.

The safety equipment will be up-to-date, however, and will include more than enough lifeboats and inflatable rafts for the 2,400 passengers and 900 crew.

So far 40,000 people have expressed interest in going on the ship, to be built on China. Some have offered one million dollars to be first on board, it has been reported.

Artists impression of the Titanic II Credit: Blue Star Line

Work is due to start later this year and her maiden voyage is planned from Southampton to New York in 2016.

1,500 people died when Titanic hit an iceberg on her way to New York in April 1912.

Clive Palmer made his money thanks to a mining empire in Australia. He says the new ship will be a tribute to those who died and is involving the family of survivors in the project to make sure the tone is right.

Apart from safety features and the number of lifeboats, Titanic II will differ from its predecessor in another crucial way. It will be built in China.

Palmer has hired CSC Jinling, a state-owned shipyard with no experience building luxury passenger ships, to construct the Titanic II. Contracts are due to be signed later in the year.

But the move to build Titanic 2 has sparked both anger and excitement.

The family of the Titanic Master, Capt Edward Smith, say the decision to build a replica Titanic is "in bad taste".

Bob Prior of the British Titanic Society says it will cause concern for some but enthusiasts "will be keen" to go on it.

An original Titanic cabin to be recreated. Credit: Steve Hall Collection

The ship will sail under the Blue Star Line logo. Titanic was owned by White Star which was bought by Cunard. They say they would never operate a ship under the Titanic name.

Clive Palmer is holding a press conference today to reveal his plans to the world. He is also hosting dinners and events in Halifax, Boston, London and Southampton to reveal his plans.

They will be lavish affairs with meals recreated from the Titanic.

In a recent interview Clive Palmer was asked why he is building Titanic 2.

He replied "why not."

“As James Cameron reminds us, my heart will go on. All of us have gone on in love. In the love we have for each other, and the love that goes into our children. Our love goes out to the families of the Titanic.”

Anticipating possible future demand, Blue Star Line also holds the rights to the name "Titanic III".