‘Titanic’ replica to open for tours

Cruise to the glorious past: The ‘Titanic’ replica under construction in Daying County, southwest Sichuan province. — AFP

Suining: The Titanic is being brought back from the deep, more than a century after its ill-fated maiden voyage, at a landlocked Chinese theme park where tourists can soon splash out for a night on a fullscale replica.

The project’s main backer was inspired to recreate the world’s most infamous cruise liner by the 1997 box-office hit of the same name – once the world’s top-grossing film and wildly popular in China.

Investor Su Shaojun says he was motivated to finance the audacious, 260m duplicate to keep memories of the Titanic alive.

It has taken six years – longer than the construction of the original Titanic – plus 23,000 tonnes of steel, more than a hundred workers and one-billion-yuan (RM632mil) price tag.

Everything from the dining room to the luxury cabins and even the door handles are styled on the original Titanic. It forms the centrepiece of a Sichuan province theme park more than 1,000km from the sea.

The site features a replica of Southampton Port seen in James Cameron’s 1997 disaster epic, where Leonardo DiCaprio’s fictional character Jack swings on board after winning his ticket in a bet. Tour buses play the film’s theme tune, Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, on repeat.

It costs up to 2,000 yuan (RM618) to spend one night on the ship for the “five-star cruise service”, Su says. — AFP

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