He won’t see the sea or sink, but the Titanic will rise. A life-size replica is being built in the Chinese countryside to receive tourists in a theme park dedicated to the mythical ship.
In Suining, workers are busy working on the hull of the giant replica of the Titanic. The real version sank more than a hundred years ago. “It’s a complicated project,” Su Shaojun, the man behind the plan, tells AFP news agency. “We’re building a ship the size of an aircraft carrier on land,” he explains on his desk for a model of his project.
The nearest sea is 1,000 kilometers away, but the entrepreneur is convinced that this will not stop the curious from visiting Titanicland. The project costs approximately 1.5 billion dollars. The inauguration is scheduled for the end of the year.
The replica is 260 meters long, just like the original ship, and it took a whopping six years to build. Everything is based on the real Titanic, from the dining room to the luxury cabins to even the door handles. To make it all seem even more realistic, a steam engine will give the impression that you are really at sea.
“Titanic experts and historians have approved the plans,” assures Su. Visitors traverse the park in a minibus with “My heart will go on” in the background.
Celine Dion’s hit was the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning movie “Titanic” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The film was a huge success in China when it was released in 1997. The ship recently made headlines again after a documentary about six Chinese survivors of the disaster was released.
Despite the Chinese interest in the Titanic, the viability of this project has been questioned. Several years ago, a replica of a US aircraft carrier was abandoned shortly after its inauguration. That project cost more than 17 million dollars.
Su counts on between 2 and 5 million tourists per year. “We want to invite Jack, Rose, and James Cameron to the opening ceremony,” he laughs.
The Titanic was the largest cruise ship of its time. It was thought to be unsinkable, but now it is synonymous with the greatest disaster in maritime history. The original shipwreck was found in 1985 and is located about 4,000 meters in the Atlantic Ocean.