Not a whole lot to report in terms of Titanic. Been quiet of late. Perhaps all the nonsense about Titanic II being built put a cork in it for a while. Another Titanic anniversary is coming up so I expect the news to pick soon. Perhaps another bit of Titanic memorabilia will emerge to be auctioned off. Or more likely some more drama about the actors that were in that movie.
Belfast is having its Titanic 10K Road Race on 10 April. The race is in its tenth year and doing quite well. Of course you do not have to run in the race to enjoy it. Fans line up to watch it to see if the any of their favorites will finish first. Then after all the hoopla is done, retire to a favorite place for a pint of the good stuff and a delicious meal.
The worlds largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, is about to embark on its maiden voyage. This ship makes every other cruise ship look like a dinghy in comparison. It is massive, and I mean massive, at 1,187 feet long and with a displacement of 227,000 tonnes. With 18 decks, it is crammed full of places to eat, entertain, and eat some more. A replica of New York’s Central Park with 10,587 plants and 52 trees is included if you miss a city landscape. As you might expect this is not a cheap trip. Plan to spend serious cash to sail on this leviathan.
And not to be outdone, the folks in Dubai who have gone seriously Titanic crazy decided to have an authentic Titanic meal. It will be at a French restaurant called Bord Eau. The dining area will be converted into a Titanic first class cabin on 14 April. Diners will have a 10 course meal similar to what first class diners had on the ship. Those attending are expected to dress up for this event. Do not think of showing up in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops for this one or you will experience an old fashioned punishment called keel hauling. The cost is Dh406 or in U.S. dollars (at last check) $106.00. No jokes about Jack and Rose please at the table.
If you go to Dubai in 2018, it will have a theme park based on movies and television shows like James Cameron’s Titanic. The 20th Century Fox World theme park will have a branded resort on site for people to stay while visiting the theme park. This will be the second theme park of this kind for Fox. One in Malaysia is currently under construction and slated to open in 2017. With rising disposable incomes in Middle East and Asia, it is believed these theme parks will draw a lot of tourists as western movies and television shows are very popular.
I bet the new guy running Premier Exhibitions has already taken note of this. After all, would not a Titanic artifact exhibition be a great draw as well?
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?
1. Titanic II Update According to Arabianbusiness.com, United Arab Emirates (UAE) firms are in talks with Clive Palmer to license use of Titanic II in UAE.. And they are also hoping to convince Palmer to bring Titanic II to Dubai after construction is complete. So far the talks are in the early stages and no firm decisions have been made yet.
2. Are the days of Edwardian ship classes returning? Well not quite but many cruise ships are creating new spaces for people with lots of disposable income. They will have their own areas to dine, entertainment, and exercise areas. In short, they will avoid the common areas and be in areas off limits to other passengers. Is this trend permanent? Well there have always been exclusive country club like cruise ships or yachts around for a while. Now some of the big guys want some of that action because those people will spend lots of money for the deluxe or supreme class that will be offered to them. In short, they are responding to market demand. Still it is understandable why people are just a bit nervous. And no doubt some cruise lines would like to do what airlines have done by making people flying coach wishing they had wings to fly in often cramped and uncomfortable seats.
Alfie Bubbles has just been outdone. Bubbles owns the much criticized Titanic Sinking Hotel (made to look like Titanic sinking) in Liverpool. You can read previous posts here and here. Now it appears that a Titanic themed restaurant is being considered for downtown Dubai. And it will be shaped like a sinking Titanic.
According to Al Bawada, the restaurant is one of the ideas being proposed for an apartment complex that would have restaurants and bars themed around Paramount movies like Titanic and The Godfather. Negotiations between the building owners and Paramount are under way. Rahal Anand, a property consultant with Damac, says it ultimately is up to Paramount what shape the proposed restaurant would look like. Damac reminds the proposal has not been finalized but they see it the shape of a ship sinking.
Oh goody. I could see the restaurant shaped like Titanic in all its grandness. Shaping like it is sinking is tacky. Sure some will get a kick out of it (just like some do with Bubble’s) but many will find it off-putting. Sinking ships are not something amusing (even on Gilligan’s Island). It conveys the wrong image about such things. Paramount, whose name is being attached to all this, ought to realize this. Make it a classy representation of a grand ship and people will like it. Show it sinking and your public relations team will be putting out fires on that one.