Romandisea Titanic
Romandisea Titanic artist impression.png
A computer graphic of the replica ship
History
NameTitanic
NamesakeRMS Titanic
BuilderWuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co.,Ltd
Cost~US $161 million
Laid down30 November 2016[1]
StatusUnknown; no updates
General characteristics
TypeOlympic-class ocean liner
Displacement52,310 tons
Length882.5 ft (269 m)
Beam91.8 ft (28 m)
Height175ft (53 m, funnels included)
Draught34 ft 7 in (10.5 m)
Decks9
SpeedZero (static replica)
The original RMS Titanic
The original RMS Titanic

The Romandisea Titanic is an unfinished full-scale replica of the RMS Titanic, located in landlocked Sichuan province, China. The project was first reported in October 2013[2] and formally launched in January 2014.[3] The ship was to be the same size as the original Olympic-class ocean liner Titanic.[4] The replica vessel was anticipated to be the centerpiece of the Romandisea resort and would have included overnight hotel accommodations.[5] It was to be permanently docked in a reservoir on the Qijang River, a tributary of the Fu River, at coordinates 30°37′42″N 105°13′19″E / 30.6282°N 105.2220°E / 30.6282; 105.2220Coordinates: 30°37′42″N 105°13′19″E / 30.6282°N 105.2220°E / 30.6282; 105.2220 in Sichuan's rural Daying County.[6][7]

Background

Further information: Replica Titanic

In 1912, the original Titanic set out on its maiden and only voyage from Southampton in the United Kingdom to New York City. Five days into the voyage, the ship hit an iceberg and sank, killing approximately 1,500 of the 2,224 aboard.[8] Titanic was the largest ship of its time.[9]

Prior ventures

South African businessman mogul Sarel Gous proposed building Titanic II in 1998. Gous said he had acquired the original drawings for the famous ship and now wanted to fulfill his dream. If the ship had been completed, it would have had a length of 290 metres (950 ft) and a width of 33 metres (108 ft),[10] which is 21 metres (69 ft) longer and 5 metres (16 ft) metres wider than the original. In 2006, the project was scrapped due to high costs and a low amount of support for the project.[11] The last Titanic survivor to pass away, Millvina Dean, had expressed her opposition to the project.

Another replica ship based on the Titanic was announced and planned by Australian millionaire Clive Palmer, also named as the Titanic II. The intended launch date was originally set in 2016,[12] then delayed to 2018,[13] and then to 2022.[14]

Chinese venture

James Cameron's 1997 Titanic movie enjoys great and lasting popularity in China, and introduced the Chinese masses to the Titanic story.[15] Actor Bernard Hill, who portrayed Captain Edward Smith in Cameron's film, was present at the launch of the project and was named the "honorary captain" of the vessel to be constructed. Hill later regretted having a role in the project.[16] The investors behind the Sichuan replica sought to approach the sinking of the Titanic primarily as a story of heroic self-sacrifice. The CEO of the investment group involved elaborated on the "Titanic spirit", saying:

"People have never forgotten how at that time people sacrificed their lives to carry out their responsibilities, with men protecting the women and children and couples side by side in life and death. That is the Titanic spirit of responsibility and universal love...Romandisea will therefore become a world-class tourist destination with a noble soul and spiritual pursuit."[17]

Design and construction

Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co.,Ltd stated the replica Titanic would be a tourist attraction and that would cost approximately US$161 million to build.[18] The ship was to include many features of the original, including dining rooms, first-class cabins, second and third class cabins, Turkish baths, gymnasium and a swimming pool, as well as a replica of the original ship's engine.[19] New features included a ballroom and theatre.[20][21] The original ship's Grand Staircase was also to be remade. The ship was expected to accommodate 2,400 passengers and 900 staff and was also to house an interactive museum.[5]

On December 23, 2017, the Facebook page of the project indicated that boiler room 1 would be replicated.

Using audiovisual technology, the ship was at one point intended to contain a simulation of the original's collision with an iceberg that led to the original ocean liner sinking. This caused some criticism. Hollywood production designer Curtis Schnell, who was hired in to work on the project, stated that the 1912 tragedy is approached in a “very respectful way”. The simulation was ultimately abandoned.[19]

Regarding the replica ship's authenticity, Schnell stated:

“We're trying to get as close as we can. We are not building every room in the [original] ship, by any means, but the shell of the ship and the exteriors will be quite accurate, [and] there will be interior rooms to be able to tour and see from the standpoint of historical accuracy.”[22]

Xinhua News Agency reported that it took two years to design the new vessel with cooperation from an American firm, and that the blueprints of the original ships were obtained for the purpose of designing the new ship.

Construction was based on the design of the original Titanic, and assisted by designers and technicians from the United States and Britain.[21]

Construction of the replica was being funded by Seven Star Energy Investment, a private company based in Sichuan province. Prior to the commencement of building this ship, none of the numerous proposed full-size replica ships of the Titanic ever made it to the beginning of construction. In May 2015, Wuchang started making parts for the vessel.[23] A keel laying ceremony at the site of the planned resort occurred at the end of November 2016, with Lord Peter Mandelson attending.[24] In December 2016 the developer signed a cooperation agreement with the National Geographic Channel to document the construction of the vessel.[25][26]

Project status

Su Shaojun, CEO of the investment group, initially indicated that the replica was expected to be completed around the end of 2017.[27] However the start of on-site assembly was delayed over a year.[24] In 2018 NPR reported that the project might be experiencing financial problems[28] while aerial images captured between April[29] and October[30] of that year showed no visible changes in the ship's construction status.

On December 10, 2018, Romandisea stated that construction work had resumed.[31] In March 2021, the project posted images of welding fabrication on the eighth deck.[32] In August, a report emerged that construction had again halted.[33] Another report described the ship as only about 25% complete.[16]

References

  1. ^ Full-Size Replica Of The Titanic Is Under Construction In China. The Two-Way. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  2. ^ "World's first full-scale Titanic replica to be built in Sichuan". Shanghaiist. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Life-size Titanic replica coming up in Sichuan". shanghaidaily.com. Shanghai Daily. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  4. ^ 宋薇. "Full-scale Titanic replica aims to attract visitors to Sichuan". usa.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  5. ^ a b "TITANIC II: China builds £125m FULL-SIZE Titanic replica - pictures". Express. 16 February 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Full-size Titanic replica being built in China". BBC News. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  7. ^ ""The local tycoon spent 1 billion yuan to "resurrect" the Titanic (in Chinese)". Phoenix New Media Limited. 23 February 2018. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  8. ^ Kettley, Sebastian (2017-04-15). "When did the Titanic sink? How many people died on the Titanic?". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  9. ^ "Titanic Size Comparison to Modern Cruise Ships". TurboFuture. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  10. ^ Mikael. "Titanic 2 - Det ska byggas en ny Titanic". www.titanicnorden.com. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  11. ^ "Le Titanic reconstruit". titanic.pagesperso-orange.fr. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  12. ^ Fickling, David (30 April 2012). "Titanic II to Be Built by Billionaire Palmer, Chinese Yard". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 27 January 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Titanic II set to sail in 2018, says Aussie billionaire - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Titanic II replica ship's cruise from Dubai delayed until 2022". Logistics Middle East. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Why China loves Titanic". The world of chinese. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  16. ^ a b Laverty, John (16 May 2022). "The Titanic copy-cats that have been as ill-fated as the original ship". Belfast Telegraph. Belfast, Northern Ireland. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Building of 'Unsinkable Titanic' Officially Started". Romandisea Media Publicity. 6 June 2014. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  18. ^ New China TV (2015-04-16), Replica of Titanic to be built in China, retrieved 2017-03-25
  19. ^ a b "China's full-scale Titanic replica is 1000km from the ocean". Newshub. 2018. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  20. ^ Ltd, Australian News Channel Pty. "China to build full-size Titanic replica". Archived from the original on 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  21. ^ a b "Chinese manufacturer builds Titanic replica". Xinhua. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  22. ^ "Full size Titanic replica will stage 'simulation' of iceberg collision in China". The Independent. 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  23. ^ Borromeo, EL (2015-05-19). "Titanic Replica May Soon Be Seen as Chinese Shipbuilder Commences Assembly of Parts". Yibada English. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  24. ^ a b Connor, Neil (2016-12-01). "Peter Mandelson in tow at 'replica Titanic' ceremony in China". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  25. ^ Butler, Alex (December 1, 2016). "A life-size replica of the Titanic will become a tourist attraction in China". Lonely Planet. Archived from the original on 5 October 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Romandisea Titanic (16 Feb 2017)". Retrieved 5 October 2018.[dead link]
  27. ^ "A life-size Titanic replica is being built in China". Global News. Canada. November 30, 2016. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  28. ^ Schmitz, Rob (January 8, 2018). "A Life-Size Replica Of The Titanic Is Under Construction In China's Countryside". Parallels. National Public Radio. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  29. ^ "Titanic construction April 15, 2018". ImagineChina.com. Retrieved November 10, 2018.[dead link]
  30. ^ "Titanic construction October 8, 2018". ImagineChina.com. Retrieved November 10, 2018.[dead link]
  31. ^ "We would say sorry to all our fans for not posting/interacting for such a long time. Reproduction of life-size Titanic still goes on here at Daying County, Suining City, Sichuan Province, China". Twitter. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  32. ^ "Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort". 10 March 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  33. ^ McManus, Leigh (10 August 2021). "Full-scale £110m Titanic replica rusting after backlash to plans to recreate ice crash". Mirror.co.uk. London, United Kingdom. Retrieved 19 August 2021.