The sinking of the Titanic continues to fascinate a surprising number of people. Soon, the first full-size replica of the ocean liner will allow delighted tourists to relive the ill-fated ship’s maiden voyage, right down to the crash.
The Unsinkable Titanic theme park measures nearly 883 feet long by 93 feet wide, and sits on the bank of the Qijiang River smack in China’s landlocked Sichuan Province. The ship will boast a ballroom, observation deck and first-class cabins, all fitted with historically accurate fixtures. The kitchen will serve up the same European fare passengers enjoyed. And, in a morbid twist, it will simulate the experience of being aboard the ship at the moment it crashed into that iceberg, just in case you forgot the Titanic wasn’t all fun.
The $160 million project is the centerpiece of the Romandisea resort, which also will feature a Venetian wedding chapel and “the world’s largest artificial indoor sky and seaside beach.” Qixing Energy Group chairman Su Shaojun says the company spent years purchasing fragments of the Titanic’s blueprints and hired Hollywood production designer Curtis Schnell to accurately reproduce it. Construction kicked off in December.
Previous attempts to build a full-on replica proved as disastrous as the ship’s voyage. In 1998, a South African businessman Sarel Gous announced plans to build Titanic II, but eventually scrapped the idea. Australian businessman Clive Palmer announced his own full-scale Titanic II five years ago, but the project stalled. But as this colorful aerial snapped by photographer Zhang Zhi shows, Unsinkable Titanic is coming along swimmingly, with more than 1,000 workers building the hull at Wuchang shipyard in Wuhan.
When complete, visitors will pay $435 a night to spend the night in an economy class rooms on a ship that faithfully reproduces everything passengers experienced aboard Titanic. Except the unpleasant bit at the end.