In 1912, the Titanic – an ‘unsinkable luxury ship – collided with an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. More than 1,500 passengers died in what was supposed to be a pioneering journey and a testament to modern engineering.
Since that time, the story of the Titanic has become a legend, especially since 1997 thanks to the movie featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Notably, that movie has a huge fan base in Asia. This is why Su Shaojun, a Chinese investor, set sights on the idea of building a scale replica of the ill-fated ship, which in his own words would keep memories of the Titanic alive, “We are building a museum for the Titanic,” he told CNN.
The 850-foot ship will be the star attraction in the Romandisea theme park located in China’s Sichuan province and it is set to open for the public soon. For up to 2,000 yuan (less than a dollar) guests could even spend the night on the ship.
The owner says the functioning steam engine will make guests feel they are really at sea, although the boat will not be seaworthy and will be at all times docked in a river.
According to AFP, it took 23,000 tons of steel and cost one billion yuan ($153.5 million) to build this replica, and investors hope for at least five million visitors in the first year of the Titanic theme park.
There’s also another Titanic replica in the making, financed by Australian billionaire and controversial mining tycoon Clive Palmer. The Titanic II has been under construction since 2012 but unlike its Romandisea counterpart, it’s aimed to be a fully operating ship that could make long voyages. It failed to meet its seaworthiness date of 2016, which has been pushed until 2022.
We will not see this work finished until the end of 2022. For now, we’ll have to settle for the Hollywood classic.