The giant returns: Exact replica of Titanic to set sail in 2018

SINGAPORE - Now you don't have to fork out US$60,000 (S$83,732) to dive to the bed of the Atlantic Ocean just to visit the Titanic.

An exact replica of the ill-fated ocean liner, named the Titanic II, is designed after the original ship that sank more than 100 years ago.

Australian businessman, Clive Palmer, who owns Blue Star Line, is the brains behind this latest venture.

The company has recently released identical side-by-side photos of the original liner and computer-generated images of the new ship.

The grand staircase, which was reserved for first class passengers only, remains one of the most famous features on the liner. Fans of the movie, Titanic, will remember how Rose lingered on these steps before descending to meet Jack.

The ship also features a first class smoking room - a private gentlemen's club of sorts, as well as Cafe Parisien, a restaurant for wealthier passengers designed to simulate a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

The Titanic II's 1.8m pool will be filled with salt water, as it was for the first Titanic.

Opulent yes, yet one can't help but shiver at the uncanny resemblance of the ships.

According to CNN, the only difference is that the Titanic II will be wider, have a welded and non-riveted hull, and have more lifeboats. The new ship might also feature a helipad, something that the first ship didn't have.

Titanic II was set to sail this year, but the date has now been pushed to 2018. The ship's maiden voyage will be from Jiangsu in Eastern China to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Back in 1912, Titanic was known to be the largest ship in the world.

The original liner sank 665km south of Newfoundland, Canada while sailing from Southampton, England to New York. Luxurious though the cruise was, a deadly collision with an ice-berg saw the ship's sad demise on its first and only voyage.