A controversial replica version of the doomed RMS Titanic will undertake a two-week maiden voyage from Dubai in 2022 before beginning regular voyages between Southampton and New York City, according to Blue Star Line chairman Clive Palmer.
First announced in 2012, the ship – an almost identical replica of the original Titanic – will be owned and operated by Palmer’s Blue Star Line.
The $500 million project was initially slated to be launched in China in 2016, before cruising from Dubai this year.
“We’re still going to cruise from Dubai,” Palmer was quoted as saying by Cruise Arabia & Africa.
“After a shakedown cruise from the shipyard to Singapore, we’ll offer a two-week maiden voyage to Dubai, with another grand voyage from Dubai to Southampton.”
Once in the UK, the ship will begin weekly voyages to and from New York, as was originally planned for the Titanic that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912.
“Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience, providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layout as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st century technology to produce the highest levels of luxurious comfort,” Palmer added.
The new launch date in 2022 will mean the ship will begin operating exactly 110 years after the RMS Titanic.
Palmer also said that while the Southampton-New York route will take place during the summer, for the rest of the year it will undertake world cruises.
According to plans, the ship will be able to accommodate 2,400 passengers and 900 crew members.