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Plans for 'Titanic II' move forward

Artists impression of the Titanic II Credit: Blue Star Line

Plans for a second Titanic have today come a major step nearer with the awarding of the first major contract for the new ship.

The Australian businessman behind the controversial scheme, Clive Palmer, has announced one of the leading marine companies in the world, Delatamrin, will manage the design and construction of the vessel.

Some have remained sceptical if the ship would ever be built but the awarding of the contract does indicate she may eventually be built.

Many people in Southampton have criticised the plan as insensitive to those who died on board. 550 came from the city.

But others say it will be a tribute to those who died and 'can't wait' to get on board.The ship is due to sail from Southampton to New York from 2016.

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Recorded message for guests

He may not have been there in person, but Clive Palmer still had a message for guests at the launch of plans to build a replica of Titanic.

In a recorded message, he told guests: "Why build Titanic? Because we can. Titanic will bring the ship back to life. It will be a tribute to those who died."

We will complete the journey. The ship will be a ship of peace carrying the hopes and dreams of people everywhere. By learning from the lessons of the past this is our moment. Titanic was the ship of dreams Titanic 2 will be a ship where dreams come true."

– Clive Palmer, on his plans to build a second Titanic

Billionaire misses breakfast launch

The man behind Titanic II failed to turn up to his own launch event in Southampton this morning. Clive Palmer was due at a lavish breakfast to reveal more details about the plan. The billionaire says he will build a replica of the ship and sail it from Southampton I the years time.

160 VIPs including Lawrie McMenemy, the Mayor, Council and business leaders are at the Grand Cafe in the City to hear details of the controversial plan. Reactions are mixed with some enthusiastic about the plan. Other say the ship is in poor taste.

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Titanic II: full report from Mike Pearse in New York

Clive Palmer, the Australian billionaire behind plans for a second Titanic, says she will set sail from Southampton to New York at the end of 2016.

He's going ahead with the controversial plan despite some claiming it's poor taste. Titanic 2 - a near replica of the original will be much smaller than today's Transatlantic liners - like the Queen Mary 2.

She'll be 65,000 tonnes, 882 feet long, 9 decks tall and able to carry 3,200 passengers and crew.

In his first British television interview Clive Palmer spoke to our Transport Correspondent at the Titanic 2 launch in New York. Mike also spoke to Philip Littlejohn and Dot Haisman, both relatives of Titanic survivors. Here's his full report.

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