You'll Soon Be Able to Stay in a Life-sized Replica of the Titanic at This Chinese Theme Park
Every detail, down to the door handles, is made to look like that on the ill-fated ship, which sank more than a century ago.
The Titanic will rise again — well, a replica of it will. The Unsinkable Titanic — an exact 1:1 ratio copy of the original ship — is now well underway as part of China's Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort.
First announced in 2014, the new ship is 269.06 meters (about 883 feet) long and 28.19 meters (about 92 feet) wide, according to the park's site. The banquet halls, theaters, observation decks, cabins, pools, and even the door handles on board will all follow the original British steamship — the largest of its time — which sank on April 15, 1912 after hitting an iceberg, killing 1,500 people, according to History.
Located in landlocked Daying County within the Sichuan Province, about 90 minutes east of Chengdu, the ship will be docked in the Qijiang River more than 600 miles away from the sea. Construction has already taken six years — longer than the original Titanic — with more than a hundred workers using 23,000 tons of steel with a budget of $1 billion Chinese yuan (about $155 million USD), Agence France-Presse reported. The keel laying for the project started with a ceremony in November 2016.
"I hope this ship will be here in 100 or 200 years," the project's investor Su Shaojun told AFP. "We are building a museum for the Titanic."
But this will be a museum that you can stay in, with "five-star cruise service" which will cost up to $2,000 Chinese yuan (about $311 USD) a night. Despite it being docked, it will offer the feeling of being at sea because of the working steam engine, Su explained.
The attraction will also include a replica of Southampton Port and tour buses that play Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," made famous by James Cameron's 1997 film "Titanic."
The replica has sparked controversy for luring tourists with a disaster that took so many lives. The original plans for the Unsinkable Titanic ship also included a show that recreated the iceberg hit that led to the sinking. While some initially defended the decision, that aspect has reportedly been put aside and is not mentioned on Romandisea's site.
It won't be the only Titanic replica in the world. Blue Star Line built Titanic II, which was originally slated to set sail in 2012, but is now looking at a 2022 launch, according to Business Insider.
The progress on the replica isn't the only Titanic news in China in recent weeks. A new documentary called "The Six" has also been released, according to NPR. The film follows the lives of six Chinese men who survived the Titanic's 1912 sinking and were picked up by U.S. immigration officials, but turned away by the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned Chinese people from immigrating until 1965.