Another year gone. Hard to believe it but 2020 is all but over except for those December bills that are paid in January. The year started out fine with just some worry about an infectious disease that was appearing overseas. At first there was concern but nothing extraordinary. Then it began to spread in Europe fast. Called eventually Covid-19, this infectious disease spread quickly. Soon lockdowns in Europe began and then elsewhere. The disease would not always kill but could really knock you down. Nations and economies came to a standstill. Most businesses were shuttered, offices went remote, and the streets empty.
For Titanic, the news was indeed mixed. Titanic came in and out of the news over the desire to retrieve the Marconi radio from Titanic. This means going into the wreck to retrieve it for posterity before it is lost forever. On one hand, the argument to preserve for posterity is persuasive. Those opposed to salvage questioned the need to retrieve the Marconi radio. The judge in the end authorized the retrieval. Then the U.S. government stepped in and said the proposed salvage violated the Titanic treaty. The case is now on appeal and any salvage may be held up until it is resolved.
Titanic II, the proposed replica of Titanic and brainchild of Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, has likely been delayed again. A few years back and with great fanfare, Palmer announced his desire to build this ship. The formed a company, did some preliminary work, and then building was scheduled to begin at a shipyard in China. And then it went quiet and no one could confirm any shipbuilding was being done. Palmer also got into a spat with China during this time that may have affected the proposed construction. So Titanic II missed its original scheduled sailing for the simple fact construction never began. More time passed and then word came out that once again the ship construction was back on. And a new sailing schedule was released. And then, once again quiet. Perhaps because of Covid-19 or other reasons, it looks like once again Titanic II is not yet ready to be sailing soon.
Sadly, due to Covid-19 shutdowns, many Titanic attractions were shuttered. A few have reopened according to local health guidelines. Belfast Titanic shut down just after Christmas and is scheduled to reopen on 7 Jan 2021. That is, of course, conditioned on whether the current shutdown orders are extended or not. Both Titanic Branson and Titanic Pigeon Forge were open for the holidays but now closed for renovations. They are both scheduled to reopen in January. Masks required.
I want to wish everyone out there a Happy, Blessed, and Joyous New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2021.
Editor, Titanic News Channel