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Titanic II: Search for Captain BeginsMay 9, 2013
Oliver Smith, The Daily Telegraph, May 9, 2013
Clive Palmer, the Australian billionaire overseeing the construction of Titanic II, said that several applications to work on board the ship had already been received, and claimed that staff benefits would include “bragging rights” and “falling in love”.
“Some of the applicants [for the captain’s position] are cruise ship captains and some are super tanker captains,” he told The Australian newspaper . “But I would see one of the best jobs on Titanic II really as being the activities director because there are so many activities to do on the boat and there are so many different ideas going back in time. We’ll be having balls and arranging a whole lot of different things.
“The food and beverage director is also another great job because we've got 68 chefs who have already produced the Titanic II menus. The food in 1912 was of a totally different cooking style than today so I suppose that's a great job for people on the ship.”
He said wages would be similar to other cruise ships but added: "There will be a certain elitism to say you've worked on Titanic II," he said. "They'll get to have a 20-course dinner in first class. [Staff accommodation] will be in better quality cabins than the passengers. I think you'd fall in love and get married. It will be a ship full of love."
The captain of the original Titanic, Edward Smith, was one of 670 crew members who went down with the ship.
Mr Palmer first announced his intention to build the Titanic replica last year, and unveiled detailed plans in February.
In a dramatic and rambling speech he said the Titanic II would be “a ship of peace”, adding that the original vessel, which sank in 1912, killing 1,523 passengers and crew, "represents the spirit of man. The spirit of love. The hope that all men have for peace on earth in our time and goodwill to all men. Titanic comes from a time when the world was different. When there was a different culture, different ways of living. When people worked with each other more. And as James Cameron reminds us... my heart will go on.”
Wealthy Americans have reportedly offered up to $1 million (£643,000) each for the chance to join the inaugural cruise from Southampton to New York, which is scheduled to take place in late 2016.
The vessel will be built to resemble the original, with the only upgrades being air conditioning, a hospital and a helipad.
Mr Palmer has suggested that there will be no televisions or internet access, and said that passengers will be provided with period clothing should they wish to dress up.
Just like in 1912, there will be three passenger classes, who will not be allowed to mingle. Even the gym and the swimming pool will be almost identical to those on the 1912 ship.
One crucial upgrade will be the number of lifeboats. The original Titanic, carrying 2,224 passengers and crew, was sunk after hitting an iceberg during its maiden voyage on April 15 1912.
It had 16 wooden lifeboats which accommodated just 1,178 people – a third of the total capacity.
The new ship will be able to carry 2,435 passengers and 900 crew. Crucially it will have lifeboats that can carry 2,700 and a life rafts with an additional capacity of 800.
Mr Palmer, who was estimated to be worth $795 million (£511m) by Forbes in 2012 and describes himself as a billionaire, has refused to say how much the venture would cost.
He made his fortune in mining, but owns a number of holiday resorts. The Titanic II isn’t his only business venture apparently inspired by a Nineties blockbuster film. Last year he reportedly took an interest in cloning a dinosaur to attract guests to the Palmer Coolum Resort near Brisbane. He has since announced plans to install more than 100 mechanical dinosaurs at the resort.