Titanic replica could dock in Halifax
Plans underway to construct the $200-million ship
Blue Star Line, the group behind building a full-scale replica of the ill-fated Titanic, hosted a gala breakfast in Halifax on Friday to pitch its vision of the new transatlantic cruise.
The 100 guests on hand for the Titanic II five-course breakfast dined on smoked salmon tartar, identical to the original Titanic menu.
"Everyone is so excited," said James McDonald, global marketing director of the Titanic II project.
"We were trending globally on Twitter the other night and everyone is just wanting to be involved with the project. Every day we’re receiving more and more inquiries."
The maiden voyage is tentatively slated for February 2016, and will take passengers from Southampton to New York City, just as the original Titanic had tried to do before hitting an iceberg and sinking in the North Atlantic. Halifax will likely be on the cruise list for Titanic II after its maiden voyage.
More than 100 of the Titanic's victims are buried in Halifax.
Lynn Ledwidge, with Destination Halifax, welcomes the plan.
"I think it would be a phenomenal for the Titanic II to call in Halifax. We have such a genuine connection to the Titanic," she said.
But marketing this project must be done carefully says John Boileau, author of a book on the Titanic.
"We know there is the aura surrounding Titanic, but it was a very great tragedy. You’ve got to be very careful about the tagline that they choose about recreating this experience."
The project's main cheerleader Australian financier Clive Palmer wasn't at the breakfast. His travel plans were disrupted and he flew to London instead to pitch the concept.
He captured the world's attention earlier this week with his plans to construct the $200-million ship at a Chinese shipyard.
Palmer said tens of thousands of people have come forward as eager customers, some willing to pay as much as $1 million for a ticket on the first trip.
The original ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912.
with files from The Canadian Press