(CNN) – For those who have always wondered what it would have been like to be a passenger on the Titanic, a theme park in China is ready to offer the closest experience possible.
In Daying County, Sichuan Province, a huge replica of the ocean liner that sank is under construction.
Called the “Unsinkable Titanic”, the ship is exactly the same size as the original: 269 meters long and 28 meters wide.
The centerpiece of a theme park called Romandisea will have the same amenities as its namesake, including banquet halls, theaters, observation decks, and a swimming pool. Customers will be able to pay to spend the night aboard the ship, which will be permanently docked in a reservoir on the Qijiang River, about 130 kilometers from the provincial capital, Chengdu, several hundred kilometers from the sea.
An opening date has not yet been set.
CNN first reported on the project in 2016, when construction workers had just started laying the keel. A recent photo essay by the AFP news agency offers a fresh look at the progress of the replica’s construction.
According to AFP, it took 23,000 tons of steel and cost 1 billion yuan (US $ 153.5 million) to build the replica.
The Chinese ship is not the only proposed replica of the Titanic.
In 2018, the Australian company Blue Star Line announced that work was resuming on the Titanic II after a long delay. It has been touted as an identical copy of the famous ocean liner, which houses 835 cabins to accommodate 2,435 passengers.
The maiden voyage was scheduled for 2022, however the company’s website has not been updated since 2018. CNN has reached out to Blue Star Line for comment on the status of the ship.
The history of the Titanic
The Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York on April 10, 1912.
At the time, it was the largest passenger ship afloat.
On April 14, around midnight, it struck an iceberg and sank in less than three hours. According to the US Senate report on the Titanic disaster, 1,517 people were killed and 706 of 2,223 passengers and crew members survived.
In 1985, scientists led by the American Robert Ballard and the Frenchman Jean Jarry located the wreck about 563 km off the southeast coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The following year, Ballard and his crew used a manned deep-sea research submersible to explore the sunken ship for the first time.
CNN Travel recently met with the renowned oceanographer, known as “the man who found the Titanic.”
Although Ballard admits he was never a “Titanic fanatic,” he says he became obsessed with finding the wreck after witnessing several failed attempts by other explorers.
“The Titanic was clearly the great Mount Everest at the time,” he explains. “Many others had tried, many who I thought would have succeeded, or should have succeeded, but did not.”
Additional information for Tamara Hardingham-Gill and Francesca Street.