Chinese delegation visits Alnwick for floating Titanic hotel

The Olympic dining room at the White Swan in Alnwick. Picture by Mike Nicholas
The Olympic dining room at the White Swan in Alnwick. Picture by Mike Nicholas

A delegation from a Chinese firm has visited the White Swan in Alnwick to take measurements and photos for an under-construction Titanic floating hotel.

The Olympic was the sister ship of the Titanic, built nine months earlier, and its First Class Lounge sits at the heart of the White Swan, one of the Classic Lodges group of hotels, along with part of the ship’s Grand Staircase.

The floating hotel will be one of the star attractions of a new European theme park in Deyiing County, China, alongside a recreation of the canals of Venice and a typical European castle.

Seven Star Investment is developing the project and the hotel is estimated to cost £118million; the keel has been laid and the dummy engines are currently being built.

The visiting party also included eminent Australian Titanic historian, Daniel Klistorner, and well-known film set designer, Curtis Schnell, who worked on Blade Runner and Red Dawn.

David Scott-Beddard is chief operating officer of White Star Memories, the leading supplier of Titanic artefacts to the museum and exhibition industry, who led the delegation.

He said: “The group building the theme park approached the foremost experts on the Titanic so that it can closely replicate the famous liner, which is where we became involved.

“Both the Olympic and Titanic dining rooms were very impressive and incredibly opulent for that era. We are fascinated by this project and cannot wait to see the end result.”

The recent visit came shortly after the 105-year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 14 and 15.

To mark the anniversary, Titanic enthusiasts, dressed in tailcoats, top hats and elegant gowns, gathered in the hotel’s Olympic Suite, which features the panelling, mirrors, ceiling and stained-glass windows from the vessel’s sister ship.

The guests were members of a Titanic Memorial Cruise Reunion group, which first came together on the Titanic Memorial Cruise in 2012.

Many of the passengers had direct links to Titanic passengers and crew.

Some had family members who had helped to build the Titanic and her older ship, the Olympic.