Pattaya maybe will see the replica Titanic in three years’ time

An Australian billionaire plans to sail Titanic once more. (Photo: RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912)

PATTAYA, Thailand – One of Australia’s richest guys, 69-year old Clive Palmer, has again resuscitated his ambition to rebuild the Titanic as a mammoth cruise liner. The first voyage would follow the route of the original Titanic in 1912, from Southampton, except that it would start at a Chinese port (where it will probably be built) and pick up passengers at Laem Chabang, near Pattaya, en route to UK. This weekend’s April 14/15 is the anniversary of the sinking after the largest moving object ever to exist at that time fatally struck an iceberg 122 years ago.

Mr Palmer said he had a lot more money now than when he first publicized the rebuilding in 2012 and claimed that the covid pandemic had delayed the project. The owner of a highly successful mining empire and a former politician, Mr Palmer exclaimed, “It’s a lot more fun to do this Titanic thing than to sit at home and count my money.” The replica Titanic will be similar to the original but will be diesel-powered and will feature lavish casinos. The four chimney stacks of the original coal-driven liner will be retained. The total cost would be in the region of US$1 billion with a launch date in 2027.

Robert Moorhead, a member of Titanic Enthusiasts who has studied the rebuilding notion, said the project is feasible as the Titanic sports the best-known name in maritime history. “Rich people all over the world would pay a small fortune to sail the celebrated vessel whilst enjoying 21st century comforts.” He added that the name of the game is ‘extreme luxury’ whereby the rich tend to distance themselves from people because of their wealth differential. But others are more skeptical. Titanic historian Lou Collins said, “Financial wizards are likely to warn Mr Palmer that a second Titanic might be a nine days wonder. After all, the Titanic is the butt of many bad luck jokes.”

Sadly, a popular Pattaya drinking den named Titanic was destroyed in a Walking Street fire several years ago.

Pattaya has more connections with Titanic than any other Asian city. It has had a succession of bars and clubs named after her, including a drinking den destroyed in a Walking Street fire in 2018 and a successful hotel still in operation today. The original Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in Pattaya had a matchstick model of the liner before somebody put their foot in it, literally. A Pattaya newspaper was one of the first to coin the word Thaitanic to reference the 1997 economic crisis which crashed the baht.

The grandson of James Gibson, apprentice watch officer on the Californian which lay near the Titanic as she sank but failed to interpret her white distress signals, lived briefly in Pattaya in the 1990s before returning for health reasons to UK where he died. The descendant always claimed that his grandfather was innocent as the distant ship seen from the Californian through binoculars was a small tramp steamer and not the enormous Titanic. If Titanic2 does ever see the light of day, she’ll likely receive a tremendous welcome in Pattaya. It would be a marketing opportunity without precedent.