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If Clive Palmer’s recent comment that “tens of thousands of people had registered for the maiden voyage” of his planned replica of the Titanic in 2016, then public reaction to his project would seem to be overwhelmingly positive. [“Titanic II Not Designed to Make Money: Clive Palmer,” The Age, August 28, 2013] While it is difficult to verify Palmer’s statement, and his personality may allow for some level of exaggeration, it is safe to say that the public fascination with the history of the Titanic is translating into high levels of public interest with the planned construction of Titanic II. Palmer is not known for doing things haphazardly, and he amassed his fortune through shrewd, solid business plans, so there is every reason to believe that, barring unexpected and massive cost overruns, the ship will be built. Given public interest in the Titanic, boosted by the 1997 James Cameron film, combined with the already robust level of interest in ocean cruises and Palmer’s commitment to building the replica to exact specifications (but with many more lifeboats), it is reasonable to conclude that the public reaction is positive – a combination of genuine interest and desire to sail the ship when completed and morbid curiosity with the eccentricities of an Australian billionaire.
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