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First class or third? Proposed ships would mimic Titanic’s steerage, Monaco’s glitz

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap

Call it the anti-marketing campaign: Australian mining mogul Clive Palmer, who is scheming up Titanic II — the ship, not the movie — has promised to mimic the experience of the original ocean liner — minus the sinking, of course.

The billionaire, who first announced his Blue Star Line's plans in 2012, is serious about letting hundreds of future third-class passengers relive the original 1912 Titanic experience. The future ship will include below-water-line steerage class for hundreds of guests, reports Brisbane's Courier Mail, Leonardo DiCaprio not included. The maiden voyage, from Southampton, England, to New York City, is planned for 2016.

"First class on the Titanic was truly unbelievable, second class was like our first class, and third class — well, third class was really third class," Palmer told the Courier Mail. How's that for a sales pitch?

For those curious about the immigrant experience, it could perhaps make for a trip back in time. Tiny cabins, shared bathrooms, mostly potatoes on the menu, and the promise of a better life.

"We might offer to re-create the experience of those hopeful immigrants to America," Palmer said. This, by the way, could possibly include de-lousing, although Palmer told the Courier Mail that it might translate to being hosed down with confetti.

But price could be the best selling point. According to the Telegraph in the UK, the original cost to book a third-class berth was between seven and nine British pounds (about $11-$15). Even adjusted for today's inflation, that's 587 to 754 pounds (or about $962 to $1,236).

That's still a bargain compared with fancier onboard digs: The Telegraph reported last year that some Americans have offered as much as $1 million for the chance to be on the ship's maiden voyage.

Also scheduled to open in 2016 is the Titanic Museum and shipwreck simulator, which will anchor a theme park in central China.

If the idea of third class on the Titanic has you swimming for shore, then how about a first-class-all-the-way, Monaco-themed superyacht? Behold the 2010 design for the ship Streets of Monaco, which is modeled after the Mediterranean city-state.

The luxury liner, which would boast a go-cart track meant to mimic the Grand Prix, would be more like a floating city than a ship, according to a statement from its creator Yacht Island Design. The design also includes eye-popping landmarks of Monaco, such as the Monte Carlo Casino and the Hotel de Paris.

The elaborate yacht would measure 155 meters (over 500 feet — longer than a standard American football field). The spacious accommodations are designed for just 16 lucky guests and 70 crew members.

"The inspiration was to design something different," Scott Poxon, a Yacht Island Design creator, told Yahoo Travel in an email. "To incorporate land style architecture into seagoing vessels. Monaco lends itself very well to this."

The company has more big ideas: Concepts for other theme ships include the Tropical Island Paradise, complete with volcano and beach cove; Eastern Promise, an Asian-inspired mega-yacht; and Project Utopia, which resembles a spaceship floating on water.

While Poxon confirmed that there has been interest in Streets of Monaco from private and commercial clients, "none ... have progressed beyond the inquiry stage." No surprise there: The website Curbed estimated the cost to be around $1 billion.