The SS Normandie got rid of its pair of giant signs within the first couple years of operation, right? Were they removed when the stern of the ship was remodeled and the grille room added? The sign on the roof of the Normandie Hotel is a dead-ringer for one of the SS Normandie's signs.
>Were they removed when the stern of the ship was remodeled and the grille room added?
The grill room was original. The tourist class lounge and deckhouse were added astern of it during the 1936 refit, which also saw the signs removed.
Just as an FYI....whilst in the men's sweater department of Bergdorf-Goodman yesterday, we came across a high quality repro of one of the Normandie smoking room panels right where we least expected to see it.
Idea of constructing a modern Titanic look a like passenger cruiser is completely feasible. It also might be very low risk idea and parhaps very lucrative idea as well. Passengers for the ship would be those who love the Camerons Titanic movie, not those hardcore Titanic fans which like to point out that the ship would not be a very close or a real replica with out steam engines, rivets, real wood panels an so on...
According to STX ship yard naval engineer the construction costs of a Titanic look alike ship would be around 4200 to 4350 euros / ton . A look alike Titanic should be slitely larger (271 X 31 meters / 49500 -50000 tonnes) in oder to enlarge some of the small cabins enough to fit a privat WC/shower module.
The most of G-deck and orlop d -deck space is not needed for boiler casing,boilers, coal ext.So these decks would have more than enough space for a show lounge, dancing hall, casino ,games room and shops. Therefor the ship would not be as booring as the real Titanic.
There's no question that if money was no object, a Titanic 2 could be built, but it would never be identical to the original because so many safety standards have changed. For instance it would have to be fitted with radio and radar instead of plotting maps and Marconi wireless. And work standards would not allow engine room workers to work in the same condition which those in 1912 were forced to. Just to name a couple of examples.
The other point would be just how many people would be willing to sail on a ship named after the Titanic....especially on the maiden voyage. It would be a novelty for sure but that might wear off.
If there had been a snowball's chance in hell of any of the schemes which have been prosed to actually make money over the long haul, then somebody would have made it happen by now.
The reason that no bank was ever willing to float the loan and no prospectus has ever attracted any investors, is because somebody did the market studies and found out that it just wasn't going to work out.
Don't confuse wishful thinking and our interest for something which is shared by one and all. It isn't.
My suspicion is that most of the hoopla over schemes to build a new Titanic has been just for self aggrandizement. That is, publicity seeking.
Honestly, even if a modern power plant would open space for a casino, would the ship really be authentic. If a casino can be allowed, then maybe we could eliminate those big round stacks in favor of a single funnel. And, those masts are so 19th century. We could use aluminum for the superstructure and that would let us pile deck upon deck like some overstuffed wedding cake. But, then we cold have verandah suites for everybody. Surely a swimming pool or two on the upper decks would do no harm. We could keep the main staircase, but do the decorative carving in plaster to avoid fire regulations. But, the stairs would have to be equipped with more handrails, probably down the center of each of the side-by-side flights. Oh, yes, where would we put the wheelchair lift? 'Tis no matter because no sailor would set foot on a vessel named after such a tragedy. We'll just change the name, too. Any suggestions?
For me it seems that some people doesnÂ´t exactly understand what a modern Titanic theme / look alike cruise ship would be.
The project mission should be to design a modern cruise vessel which is fully competitive against any other cruise ship. The ships exterior should remind Titanic ( colors, superstructure with 4 funnels ext.)and A, B and C decks interior would be a close replica of the Titanic + D-deck reception room and first class dining room. No 2nd and 3rd class cabin or public spaces. The ship should of course have all the basic entertainment and other time killing facilities that other cruise ships have today.
The marketing idea / niche would be to offer a Titanic first class style cruise experience for specially those who love the Camerons Titanic movie. 4 funnels and the superstructure doesnÂ´t give a good base for a functional sundeck , therefore the ship should be design and classificated for short international cruises (2-3 night cruises) Short international cruise classification would reduce the amount of life boat capacity needed.
>>For me it seems that some people doesnÂ´t exactly understand what a modern Titanic theme / look alike cruise ship would be.<<
The bankers who looked at the proposals do. More to the point, they understand just how narrow the market is because they had profressional analysts give the markets and the prospectus a very thorough examination. Had they found anything to indicate that the proposals had a reasonable chance of success in the long term, there would have been little problem in gaining the loans to make it happen. That nobody went for it speaks volumns.
First of all Michael H. one of the most common rule of tum highlighted at universities of economics considering the evaluation of a business plan / idea is that never evaluate the idea by an attitude/logic that if the idea would be great someone would have already done it. So just try to simulate what the world would be like if this logic described above would make any sense. We would then have only one company with one idea and business concept in every field of business.
Financing of a cruise ship is mostly very low risk for the financial bankers, because itÂ´s very common that the ship yards government (country) gives almost 100 % guarantee for the construction costs of the vessel. This means that if the vessels operating company / "owner" fails paying the bankers they get their money back from the tax payers of the country in which the vessel was built. RCCLÂ´s Oasis and Alluer (built in STX ship yard Finland) financial risk is 98 % on Finnish tax payers, because Finnish government gave the bankers 98 % guarantee for the vessel construction financing.
Commercial bankers risk is based on additional financing other than vessel construction. The additional financing comes from general project administration costs generated before the first passengers board the ship on the maiden voyage. This of course means that the company which want to build a ship needs some own capital as well or other guaranties and maybe a security as well. The vessel it self can not be a security because the government guarantee giver has the ship as a security for the construction financing guarantee.
Government risk investment companies (the guarantee giver) evaluate the risk by calculating the vessels average cabin rate needed in oder to gain a break even result with the average occupancy % of the already operating cruise ships. They do not focus on the details of the business plan and the marketing plan nor do market research. Government guarantee givers goal it to create jobs for people at the ship yards. This means the decision of giving guarantees is some what a political decision which is based on the fact that cruise ship capacity grows slower that demand and if a new cruise ships average cabin rate is competitive agains other already operating cruise ships the risk is low.
I personally think some of the reasons why all these Titanic projects have failed is that they all didnÂ´t have a good business plan and expertise for the project and of course they all had also unrealistic hopes and ideas about how much a large amount of people would pay for "Titanic" cruises.
I personally think that if you want an idea of how well a Titanic replica will do, all you have to do is look at how well other similar ventures with old technology are doing, such as historic railways running on steam power. For the most part, they aren't doing well. Interest in preserved technology is limited at best, at least here in the states, and the economy is putting a crunch even on those that DO have interest. Now consider that an AUTHENTIC Titanic replica, operating on steam, would be many times more expensive to run. As an example, a Union Pacific "Big Boy" Locomotive consumed up to 12 tons of coal per hour when working at full power. At her normal cruising speed, Titanic would have consumed (by my own napkin math) around 27-28 tons per hour. Obviously she used her fuel much more efficiently, producing 8-9 times as much horsepower for "only" around double the fuel, but the cost would still be prohibitive, and that's before you factor in the other added costs of operating a large vessel.
Not only that, you have the problem of finding/training people qualified to run reciprocating steam engines, a technology that was already dated in Titanic's time. To make things even more painful, the Titanic is not especially large by the standards of modern cruise ships, and a very large portion of her internal space is taken up by cargo holds, her power plant and propulsion machinery (read "space that is not carrying or entertaining revenue-earning passengers). Of course, you could always scrap all that, install a modern diesel-electric power plant and make use of the increased space for more passenger cabins and amenities, but then it's not much of a replica, is it?
>>Financing of a cruise ship is mostly very low risk for the financial bankers, because itÂ´s very common that the ship yards government (country) gives almost 100 % guarantee for the construction costs of the vessel.<<
Tell that to the cruise lines which have failed trying to appeal to a niche market. Hell, even those with mass market appeal fail and you don't have to take my word for it. Go to the archived stories on the Cruise Critic website or backtrack to what I've collected in the New Age Of Passenger Liners folder.
The problem with the Titanic and Titanic themed cruises is that the niche which would be interested is narrow in the extreme. It's only next year for the centinary of the disaster that any have even been planned. Nothibg is seriously in the works for 2013 and there's a reason for that. People who care about the 100th Anniversery don't give a flip about the 101st.
Given the drop in interest in Titanic over the past ten years, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure things out and the banks which were approached had the question studied by professionals who actually knew what they were doing and understood the markets.
Oh, one other thing: Take a look at current events. The United States isn't the only country with a debt crisis, and with bread and butter programs being canceled or severely cut, any sort of funding/subsidies and or gaurantees for private business ventures are going to be seen as difficult if not outright impossible to justify.
Like it or not, unless somebody can make one helluva convincing case that this prospectus would be a sure thing, it just ain't gonna happen. That's the blunt reality.
But if you wish to try it, I wish you luck and every success!
There's no romance in finance. (Is there a song about that?)
Old marketing and economic concepts reign supreme.
Financing the construction of a passenger vessel is one thing... keeping it competitively running is another. At the moment, the cruise ship market seems fairly well balanced, However, ship's are very sensitive to fuel costs, international safety regulations and labour laws and, since they range world-wide, to political situations. They are also exposed to the insurance market. Once a ship has been built, it is extremely expensive to bring it to dock for a re-fit to keep up with what's on offer by other cruise companies.
I am reminded of the heady days of the Orient Express.
The 1947 side paddle wheeler PS'Waverley' is the last ocean going paddle steamer. The cost of keeping her afloat is outrageous and depends very much on charity.
Unfortunately, the song you're attributing to Raimo is the one I'm singing Captain Jim. Fantasy and wishful thinking is one thing, reality in all it's unpleasant splendor is another matter entirely.
Regarding the Titanic shemes he's talking about, I strongly doubt any of their promotors had a business plan beyond lining their own pockets. Too many schemes have come and gone, along with their websites, never to be heard from again.