China recreates the Titanic as theme park

‘The unsinkable ship’: Titanic awaits her maiden voyage in Southampton, April 1912.

The ocean liner Titanic was the world’s most famous ship. When it sank in 1912, 1,517 people died. Now tourists will be able to pretend they are on board. Is this insulting to the victims?

What’s happening

An exact replica of the Titanic is being built in China’s Sichuan province. Titanic was a very famous ship. It carried people from all walks of life on its first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. But on the night of April 14th 1912, it struck an iceberg. Two hours later it sank, with the loss of 1,517 lives.

Find out more

The project’s design expert says he wants ‘historical accuracy’, though the ship will be moored in the Quijang river, 1,200km from the sea. The new ship will cost £116 million to build, be 269m long and use 26,000 tonnes of steel.

It will be part of a large tourist resort. Visitors can buy a night on board for £450. They will be able to visit parties and play games from 1912, eat ‘exactly’ the same menu as Titanic really served and even take part in a simulation of the sinking.

Titanic has fascinated people since it sank. In the first year more than 100 songs were published about the disaster. There have been dozens of books about it and several films. In 1997, James Cameron’s Titanic became the first film to earn more than $1 billion.

Some say…

This ship should not be built. It is insensitive to those who died and their relatives. Titanic was not a Hollywood movie, a myth or a fun story to learn about — it was a real disaster that really cost people their lives. Spending millions of pounds so people can pretend it is happening to them is unnecessary and morbid.

Others think…

Visiting the sites of tragedies can help us to understand history. More than a million tourists go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps each year. You can take a tour of the nuclear disaster zone in Chernobyl or the ruins of Pompeii. But with Titanic at the bottom of the ocean, a replica is the best way for people to see what the ship was like.

You Decide

  1. Would you spend a night on board the New Titanic if you could?

Activities

  1. Make a poster advertising the New Titanic. Then discuss whether these posters should ever be used.

Some People Say...

“Should disasters be used for tourist attractions?”

What do you think?

Word Watch

Voyage
A ship’s journey.
Moored
Anchored and parked.
Simulation
A re-enactment, imitating what did (or what could) happen.
Morbid
Too interested in death.
Auschwitz-Birkenau
A camp where over 1m Jews were murdered during the second world war.
Chernobyl
A nuclear power plant which suffered a massive accident in 1986. The accident is believed to have killed thousands.
Pompeii
In Italy, a town in the Roman empire which was buried when the Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted in 79CE.

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.