Tag Archives: Clive Palmer

Catching up on Titanic news

Time to catch up on some Titanic news! Here are some news articles you might be in interested. If you see a news article you think should be noticed here, drop us a line at editor@titanicnewschannel.com

Former Harland & Wolff building in Bootle, Dock Road (18 Feb 2007)
Image: Nigel Cox / Bootle: Harland & Wolff Works building, Dock Road / CC BY-SA 2.0The Little-Known Titanic Secrets About This Hidden Merseyside Building (Echo, 29 Dec 2018)

The Little-Known Titanic Secrets About This Hidden Merseyside Building (Echo, 29 Dec 2018)

The only sign of its illustrious past is the giant Harland & Wolff sign on the outside of the building. But unknown to many, this Bootle site – passed by hundreds of HGV drivers a week on their way to the Port of Liverpool complex – could have links to the ill-fated luxury ocean liner, RMS Titanic. The White Star Line-owned ship, built at Harland & Wolff’s main Belfast production yard and registered in Liverpool, tragically sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg on April 15, 1912. Although there is little detailed information about Harland & Wolff’s Liverpool site, it is hought by some that engine parts for the Titanic could have been made there when it was used as a foundry at the turn of the last century.
https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/little-known-titanic-secrets-hidden-15542852

The Titanic: 13 Things The Movie Got Wrong (12 They Got Right)(The Travel, 25 Dec 2018)
Fortunately for Cameron and his team, the movie went on to be the highest grossing film of all time at the time of its release, breaking just about every single box office record in existence up until that point. It connected with audiences on a scale that few films do, becoming a cinematic sensation through its action-packed ship journey and an epic love story between the two main characters, Jack and Rose, played by a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Here are thirteen things the movie Titanic got wrong and twelve it actually got right.
https://www.thetravel.com/things-the-titanic-movie-got-right-wrong-right/

Harland & Wolff: Shipbuilder An Enduring Chapter Of Belfast Story For More Than 150 Years (Belfast Telegraph, 21 Dec 2018)
The Harland & Wolff shipyard was founded in Belfast in 1862 by Edward James Harland and Gustav Wilhelm Wolff. At its peak in the early 20th century – its workforce hit around 35,000 in the 1930s Harland & Wolff and its Belfast yard was one of the biggest shipbuilders in the world and a beacon of manufacturing prowess. Now the famous Drawing Offices where the plans for the liner were refined is the home of the Titanic Hotel within the Titanic Quarter.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/northern-ireland/harland-wolff-shipbuilder-an-enduring-chapter-of-belfast-story-for-more-than-150-years-37646075.html

My Titanic job…ship with 40,000 Lego bricks (Daily Express, 21 Dec 2018)
Master builder Keith Morton is feeling shipshape after spending almost two years constructing a replica of the Titanic using 40,000 Lego bricks. The 65-year-old has painstakingly placed every brick into the 10ft model of the passenger liner.
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1062392/titanic-lego-model-Keith-Morton

The Discovery Of The Titanic Wreck Was a Front For a Secret U.S. Military Mission (Govexe.com, 18 Dec 2018)
While it is true that a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found the Titanic, what was not reported at the time were the conditions put in place by the U.S. Navy—or their involvement with the mission at all. Ballard was not exclusively a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist, but also a U.S. Navy Commander. The navy would fund the mission, CNN reported, but only if Ballard first explored the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion, two American nuclear subs that had sunk about 20 years prior.
https://www.govexec.com/management/2018/12/discovery-titanic-wreck-was-front-secret-us-military-mission/153629/

You Can Visit The Wreck Of Titanic At The Bottom Of The Atlantic Ocean In 2019 (Lonely Planet, 18 Dec 2018)
Plans are in motion to bring people to visit the wreck of RMS Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 2019 as part of six 11-day missions to explore the wreck. Taking part in the Titanic Survey Expedition, which is open to scientists and ‘citizen explorers,’ will cost US$105,129 (£83,537), which is the equivalent of what a first class ticket on Titanic’s maiden voyage would cost now.
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2018/12/18/visit-wreck-titanic/

The Replica Ship Titanic II Will Now Set Sail In 2022 (Business Insider, 12 Dec 18) There are many stories out there about the upcoming Titanic II (dubbed by me as Palmer 2.0). We went down this road before. We had lots of press releases, gala events, stories of various suppliers etc. And then it hit the wall. Palmer could not get funding, the shipyard was quiet. Once again they are cranking up the press releases and the media are eating it up. Remember when suddenly out of the blue news articles were pushing Titanic II a couple of years ago by simply regurgitating old news? Well it has that feel again. Any way, here is the article about what Palmer 2.0 will look like etc.
https://www.businessinsider.com/titanic-ll-compare-to-the-original-2018-11

To close out this Saturday, here are two Christmas comedy music for your enjoyment. Happy Saturday.

Rare poster surfaces;Titanic II back from the Grave?

March 6, 1912: Titanic (right) had to be moved out of the drydock so her sister Olympic (left), which had lost a propeller, could have it replaced.
Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public domain

1. Rare Titanic Poster Surfaces
The Irish Mirror reports that a rare Titanic poster has been found and soon will be up for auction. Red,white and blue posters were put up around lower Manhattan in New York during the spring of 1912. After the sinking,the posters were taken down by White Star. The posters advertised Titanic as “Queen of the Ocean.” They included two black and white photos of the interior with Olympic as the stand in. And they were for the return journey set for Saturday, April 20, 1912. The Mirror reports only a handful survived and the one up from auction cam from a private source. Henry Aldridge & Son is handling the auction. The presale estimate is £60,000-£100,000 ($78,580-$130,968).
Source: Rare poster on return voyage of the Titanic surfaces over 100 years after sinking (Irish Mirror,17 Oct 2018, )
(Due to policy of Irish newspapers to impose fee on links to news articles, we are not providing one here.)

2. Titanic II in 2022?
Well say this about Clive Palmer, he is not given up on the idea of creating a seaworthy replica of the famous ship. It was a total bust last time since he could not get Chinese investors aboard. Now he is claiming it will launch in 2022 after being built in China, sail to Dubai following a shakedown cruise from China to Signapore, and then to Southampton. The project is expected to cost $500 million. Whether this is just a publicity stunt remains to be seen.
Source: New Titanic to set sail from Dubai in 2022, says Clive Palmer (arabianbusiness.com,16 Oct 2018)
https://www.arabianbusiness.com/travel/406296-new-titanic-to-set-sail-from-dubai-in-2022-says-clive-palmer


Titanic Tidbits and Musings

Summer is drawing to a close and schools are opening up. Sleepy eyed kids are getting on the local buses again to make the journey to school. It has been a quiet summer Titanic wise. Not a whole lot of news though some important news did occur.

United_States_Bankruptcy_Court_SealPremier Exhibitions Declares Bankruptcy To Reorganize
The big news before the summer began was Premier declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 11 and seeking to reorganize. Typically this means the company has enough resources to stay afloat and needs the courts to reduce its liabilities. For creditors it means they usually get something but not everything. It means the court has to take a hard look at how the company operates which means an intensive look at the financial records and other aspects of the company.

While things have not gone well for a while with Premier, it was thought the Dinoking merger and bringing aboard its ceo to manage would bring things in line. What apparently occurred is that the debts owed by Premier were far greater than the cash infusion the merger could solve. So to stave off likely lawsuits from creditors, they headed to bankruptcy court. Now one of the big arguments is over the French Collection. These artifacts were brought up with a joint expedition with IFREMER and are separate from the other artifacts covered under the U.S. Federal Court salvage award. That salvage award limits how the artifacts can be sold, specifically as one collection making it very difficult to find buyers due to the high cost. However Premier believed it had clear title to the French artifacts and wanted to sell some of them to pay off debts. And sought permission from the court to do this. It was denied, in part, because bankruptcy law requires an adversary action to remove any possible claims to items that will be sold or auctioned off to pay debts.

So Premier is suing the French government in federal court. Premier has submitted documents that appear to support their position. Meanwhile we wait on France to decide whether it will contest a possible sale or file a brief saying they will not fight it.

So Much For Palmer’s Titanic II
Well it appears to be over. After all the fanfare and some preliminary work, the Clive Palmer’s dream to recreate Titanic has come to an end. No one can blame him for wanting to bring it about. It is a great dream. Despite all the positive news spun out by his public relations team, financing the construction proved harder than realized. It was to be constructed in China but the date for the work start came and went, new dates were set, but the shipyard remained quiet. Then came news that once it was launched it would stop in Dubai. That raised speculation that investors from that area were keen on tying in their own Titanic themed areas with this new ship. And I speculated that perhaps money to build could come from there (or even be built there). But Palmer’s relations with the Chinese took a real nosedive with his criticisms of a Chinese company and the lack of Chinese investors in the project meant it would go nowhere. So without much fanfare and no publicity, construction of Clive Palmer’s Titanic II has ended.

Chinese Titanic II
Palmer’s version fizzled but China is building their Titanic II that will docked at a theme park. It will be full size and look exactly like the original. It will also be a hotel and tourist attraction. Visitors will be able to stay aboard, sample high-end late Edwardian age cuisine, and even visit the Titanic Sinking Simulator. That has caused a lot of controversy. Perhaps what will stun visitors from the West is that likely the message about Titanic will be strongly anti-capitalist and demonstrate why the Chinese way is more superior. Just do not mention their awful human rights record or persecution of those who practice religion of any kind.

Masterchef
The current season is interesting but has its usual combination of the excellent, the not-so-good, and those just filling a slot until they are dropped. Poor Nathan is the butt of so many jokes. The bow tied tuxedo salesman (and he always wears a suit even when outside at the farm) may be good at cooking dishes alone but has severe problems working in a team. Some of the good have made their mistakes and departed but perhaps none worse than Andrea. She showed really excellent skills but when she failed to bring her sausage dish down to the front table at the right time, it was bad. Worse was how Gordon and company handled it. At this point they knew she was out of the contest. Instead they go through the mockery of tasting the dishes of which the two useful facts were announced: that she (Andrea) had the best dish while Diamond served up raw sausage. In a normal competition, Diamond would go home. But that is reality and not the often strange world of Masterchef that live in an alternate universe.

They knew Andrea was out the moment she put her plate down three seconds too late. Gordon seemed to argue with Christina and Chef Lee about her having the best dish but Christina reminded rules are rules. Do not be fooled, that was all for show as none of it was for real. It was to make it look like there was some dispute when none existed. Diamond, a weak contender, went into the next round and would be sent home in the next episode. In a real contest, Andrea would have been sent home immediately for missing the time requirement. No need to bother with tasting the dishes and move on to the next round. It just shows the strange world that Masterchef inhabits.

Chinese Titanic Replica On Course;Belfast Titanic Celebrates A Milestone

The Grand Staircase of the RMS Olympic Photo:Public Domain (Wikipedia)
The Grand Staircase of the RMS Olympic
Photo:Public Domain (Wikipedia)

Clive Palmer’s plan to build Titanic II appears dead but a Chinese full size replica is on course to be built. According to China.org.cn a full size replica will be assembled at the end of this year. The replica will be the exact size of the original Titanic and will cost 1 billion yuan. Everything from door knobs to menus will look as if it was on the original Titanic (except some modern necessities as needed of course). The replica will also employ the use of a Titanic Sinking Simulator so that visitors will experience what it was like to be aboard when the ship was sinking. The replica will be permanently docked at a theme park in the Qi River in Daying County, Sichuan. It is scheduled to open in 2018.
Source:Life-Size Replica Of Titanic To Be Assembled Late This Year(China.org.cn,17 Aug 2016)

Titanic Belfast just celebrated its three millionth visitor recently. Since it opened in 2012, Titanic Belfast has seen a steady stream of tourists from all over the world. They recently had their busiest day when 4,200 people came through the doors beating down previous numbers. Titanic Belfast chief executive Tim Husbands notes “We have spent over £1m refurbishing and refreshing three or four of the galleries because obviously Titanic is a story that can be told in so many different facets.”
Source: Titanic Belfast Welcomes Its Three Millionth Visitor(Irish Times,15 Aug 2016)


Belfast Telegraph:Titanic II Has Run Aground

man-smoking-pipe
Just a pipe dream.

The hits just keep coming against Clive Palmer and the un-Titanic II. Belfast Telegraph reports that CSC Jinling Shipyard in China is now referring all comments about Titanic II to Blue Star Line. The Telegraph follows an earlier story in Daily Mail that Deltamarin was no longer working on the ship design and in fact had suspended work 18 months ago. According to the newspaper:

But although Mr Palmer spent millions on marketing his childhood dream project, including a lavish project launch on USS Intrepid in New York, documents just published by the administrators of a former Palmer company, Queensland Nickel, show that little or no money has been put into the development of Titanic II for over two years. Indeed, the only funds directed towards the project were for offsite storage and IT-related expenses. Last week, Mr Palmer said at a press conference he would have to ask his wife if he could pursue the project in retirement – a statement that suggested he was well aware Titanic II was now a mere pipe dream.

Source: Plans to build replica Titanic all at sea as Oz tycoon Clive Palmer gets cold feet (Belfast Telegraph, 10 May 2016)

Titanic II Update:Finnish Shipbuilder Reportedly Stops Work

Titanic Leaving Queenstown 11 April 1912. Believed to be the last photograph of ship before it sank. Public Domain
Titanic Leaving Queenstown 11 April 1912. Believed to be the last photograph of ship before it sank.
Public Domain

It has been a while since we have had a legitimate update about Clive Palmer’s Titanic II. A brief recap might be in order to remind everyone about this project. Amid great fanfare and lots of celebrity meals, Clive Palmer announced in 2012 that he was building a full size replica that would meet all present day safety standards. Firms were contracted for various aspects of planning, testing, and other needed things. Drawings were released and a Chinese shipbuilding firm was to be the its builder.

Then things went very quiet. Nothing was going on at the shipyard, Palmer tried getting Chinese investors aboard, and then he got into a row with the Chinese government. A new launch date of 2018 was announced, investors in Dubai showed interest in licensing Titanic for a major theme destination, and the maiden voyage was shifted from China to Dubai. And now here we are in May 2016 and no construction has yet taken place and no contract to build the ship has been signed. And now we learn from the Daily Mail that a Finnish company Deltamarin, contracted to design the new ship, ceased working with Blue Star back in 2014.

At this point we have no idea how far along Deltamarin was in designing the new ship. They may have done preliminary work and were waiting for Blue Star to commission full scale plans. If they did not commission them, it would be consistent with what we know so far. Palmer likely ran into trouble getting Chinese investors and his row with the Chinese government probably scuttled the ship being built there anyway. His only hope it would seem would be in Dubai these days but whether or not they want to commit to a full scale sailing replica is another matter. My guess is they might be more interested in the Titanic artifact collection that has yet to be sold and awaits a buyer. That would draw in lots of tourists but having a Titanic replica docked nearby could seal the deal. However they might decide to do it themselves without Palmer. Either way, the dream of Titanic II in 2018 looks quite remote at this point.

Source: Is Mining Billionaire Clive Palmer’s Titanic II Dream Under Water? Finnish Shipbuilder ‘Has Stopped Working On Plans’ To Design A Replica Of The Doomed Ocean Liner(Daily Mail,7 May 2016)


Keeping Titanic II Alive (Part II)

Titanic at Cobh Harbor, 11 April 1912 Public Domain (Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh, Ireland)
Titanic at Cobh Harbor, 11 April 1912
Public Domain (Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh, Ireland)

It is interesting what has happened since my original post on the subject. The reprinted stale news The Independent ran spread through the media. Newspapers, the major news networks, and a lot of blogs ran the story as if it were big news. It proves a theory about mass media today: they pretty much feed off each other and few bother to check the facts. It was amusing to read some of the write-ups. You could see that the editors/writers tried to find something different for their take on the story. At the end it was the same stale news from 2015.

This blog got a lot of hits thanks to jalopnik.com whose more skeptical approach to the story puts the more experienced mass media to shame. MoneyTalksNews has a similar skepticism about the Titanic II project. Krystal Steinmetz zeroes in on the key points and notes that the pictures zapping around the Internet are not the real ship but renderings from several years ago. She also adds (in addition to no construction going on at present) the following:

Plans for the ship could also be capsized by an investigation of Palmer. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission is investigating Palmer and the collapse of his company, Queensland Nickel. Palmer could face criminal charges over alleged use of aliases in company dealings and moving money from his failed business into his self-titled political party. The company owes creditors roughly $100 million.

As it stands now the only viable Titanic replica being built is the one being built by the Chinese themselves-for a theme park far away from the coast. This full replica will be permanently docked there (on water), have rooms for people to stay in, and is the infamous one since it will include a sinking simulator as well. So if you desiring to see a full Titanic replica, that is the only one that is actually being built.

Titanic Musings On 2015

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Did you hear that the new Star Wars movie has toppled James Cameron’s Titanic off the throne? Hard to miss it since the entertainment media reminds us with screeching headlines announcing this important fact. There are major rumblings in the Middle East, the Turkish prime minister sees Hitler’s leadership as a positive role model, Russia is getting nasty as well but as long as the new Star Wars movie topples Titanic, that is more important.

Down under Clive Palmer’s dream of Titanic II appears moribund. There is still nothing going on at the Chinese shipyard and no formal contract has been signed for its construction. We did learn that if and when it should launch its first stop from China is Dubai. And Dubai has a serious interest in Titanic thanks to developers wanting to make a movie theme park. China is doing better than Palmer in building their Titanic that will be permanently docked at a theme park. You can stay aboard and even experience what it was like as it sank thanks to a sinking simulator. Oh and you can, for a fee, learn what cremation is like first hand (sans the real heat of course). Palmer may not be moving forward with Titanic but the Chinese are.

Premier Exhibitions saw major changes in the past year. Revenues have been mostly flat overall but costs were taking a big chunk of change. One proposed merger deal fell through and recriminations are now headed to court over that. So they sought out Dinoking and its chairman to try and turn around the company. Also they would like to sell the Titanic artifact collection but the price is so astronomical that it is hard to see anyone putting up that money. And it comes with a big sticker shock in the form of permanent judicial oversight from the U.S. Federal Court in Virginia. My guess is that in the end it will either be sold to a government entity of some kind or a consortium either in the Middle East or China. China and Dubai would seem the logical choices and will not be surprised if Beijing steps in to acquire the collection.

Public Domain

Titanic exhibitions continue to draw large crowds wherever they appear. People are fascinated by the story. Belfast has certainly seen it become a big boost for tourism and business. Titanic Belfast continues to draw them in and recently the Nomadic was made part of the exhibition. The fully restored tender is as close to the real Titanic as we can get. It took a lot of dogged work to get it out of France and then even more work to properly restore it. People are so used to how quickly we can turn out things these days but old seafaring vessels require a lot of special work. You do not splash on a new coat of paint and call it a day. It takes hours of patient work to take out the rot and replace it with new material and replacement parts generally hand crafted. Not unlike San Francisco’s historic cable cars. The original factories have long ceased operation and San Francisco has to make all its replacement parts to keep the cars going up and down hills at about nine miles an hour.

Titanic though is steaming on. It sank in 1912 but is still quite alive and well in different forms. People are learning the real story, which is good because there are plenty of lessons from Titanic we can draw from. Pity is that historical forgetfulness often means those lessons are lost but they can be relearned.

Titanic II Update: Maiden Voyage Will Be From China To Dubai

Cruise Arabia & Africa reports that Clive Palmer’s Blue Star Line has
announced that Titanic II’s maiden voyage in 2018 will be from Jiangsu, China to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Blue Star has stated that the project is still on refuting rumors of its demise. Originally the maiden voyage was to be from Southampton to New York. James McDonald, the global marketing director of Blue Star Line says the change was due to seeking business partnerships in Dubai.

We are not looking for investment from Dubai, as it is a project we are
funding ourselves, but we have been in contact with a number of
companies based in the Emirates who are looking at utilising
opportunities that arises with the project. It is people looking to use
the opportunity of the trademark and licensing potential of the
project… We own the Titanic II name and trademark and people are
lining up to be part of it.

Not so long ago I reported of interest in Dubai in Titanic II and
speculated that since Palmer is not getting the Chinese investors he was hoping for, that he would seek out investors in UAE. Now so far they official line is that the ship will still be built in China but suppose
with all those “business partnerships” being formed in Dubai that the ship can be built there and cheaper than China? So far no official order has been placed with a Chinese shipyard, Palmer is involved in a serious row with the Chinese government, and a Titanic replica is already being built. And, just as a wild thought, suppose you could add in the Titanic Artifact collection to Dubai with Palmer’s Titanic II?

Source: Titanic II Is To Sail Maiden Voyage In 2018 From China To Dubai In The United Arab Emirates(26 Sep 2015,Cruise Arabia & Africa)


Titanic II Update: Will Be Built By 2018 Claims Palmer Spokesman

RMS Titanic ready for launch(1911) Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress, digital id#cph.3a27541)
RMS Titanic ready for launch(1911)
Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress, digital id#cph.3a27541)

Arabianbusiness.com is reporting that Titanic II will be launched in late 2018 according to a Palmer spokesman. The article points out that back in 2013 Palmer and Blue Star Line were involved in discussions with companies in the United Arab Emirates about Titanic II which included coming to Dubai for its maiden voyage. Could this signal perhaps a change in course (pun intended) about the ship construction? All the reporting so far is that Palmer has had real problems getting Chinese backers and his spat with the Chinese government made things look bleak. Add to it they are already building a Titanic replica for a theme park seems to go against it being built there.

How about Abu Dhabi? Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri expanded their shipyard in Abu Dhabi in 2012 to build more ships for the UAE navy. It is a joint venture with Etihad Ship Building (ESB). Now the Italian shipyard is focused on building naval vessels but what if the UAE wants Titanic II built there? Stay tuned folks. Of course this could just be puffery and Palmer is known for it. Then again he might have found investors there more eager to invest in Titanic II than in China.

Source: Exclusive: Plans For Titanic Replica Ship To Be Delayed Two Years(30 Aug 2015,Arabianbusiness.com)