How do you like the idea of a theme park where you can experience what it was like to go down with the Titanic? It may not be everyone’s idea of a fun day out, but those behind the proposed project are hoping enough people will be interested enough to visit the planned ‘attraction’ for China’s landlocked Sichuan province, which, incidentally, happens to be almost a thousand miles from the nearest ocean.
Costing around a billion yuan ($165 million) to build, the replica ship, which will be moored at a riverbank, will incorporate special simulation technology to enable hundreds of people at a time to get some sense of what it was like to be aboard the enormous ship when it slipped beneath the icy Atlantic waves just over 100 years ago.
‘Shake and tumble’
Su Shaojun, chief executive of project backer Seven Star Energy Investment Group, said the theme park’s ship will “shake and tumble” when it hits the ‘iceberg’ during the simulated sinking.
“We will let people experience water coming in by using sound and light effects. They will think, ‘The water will drown me, I must escape with my life’,” he said at a recent press gathering in Hong Kong, adding that he believes an Asia-based Titanic museum is long overdue.
“We think it’s worth spreading the spirit of the Titanic. The universal love and sense of responsibility shown during the Titanic shipwreck represent the spiritual richness of human civilization,” Shaojun said.
Bernard Hill, who played Captain Edward Smith in James Cameron’s 1997 movie about the ill-fated voyage, was in Hong Kong to show his support for the project. When asked whether such a theme park attraction was in bad taste, Hill said he didn’t think it would “belittle the disaster.”
“It’s been approached in a very delicate and a very sensitive way and they’re very aware of the extent of the disaster in 1912,” the actor said.
According to Reuters, construction of the replica Titanic is set to start in the coming months. The Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort is scheduled to open in 2106 with a range of other attractions alongside the life-size Titanic, including a man-made beach, an intriguing-sounding ‘6D’ movie theater, and replicas of a number of European castles.
The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York in April 1912 with the loss of more than 1500 lives. The disaster has remained a source of fascination for a great many people over the years, with numerous books and movies made about the tragedy.
Last year Australian billionaire Clive Palmer announced his intention to build a full-scale copy of the Titanic by 2016. The mining tycoon plans for the ship to carry up to 2400 passengers on voyages between Southampton and New York, with those on board able to wear period costume if they choose.