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Published February 28 2013

Benshoof: Titanic replica, Mars voyage pose difficult question

FARGO - Two travel announcements this week have made for what’s essentially a real-life game of “Would you rather?”

First, an Australian billionaire unveiled his blueprints Tuesday for the Titanic II – an exact replica of the notorious ocean liner that fought an iceberg and lost in 1912.

The plans call for a 2016 launch of the new ship that will follow roughly the same journey as the original, except this time without the sinking.

According to The Guardian newspaper of London, 40,000 people have already applied for one of the 2,435 passenger spots, with some people offering more than a million dollars for a first-class cabin.

There’s no word yet if Kate Winslet will be on board or if James Cameron is planning another movie on the idea.

But if that wasn’t enough, another tycoon announced on Wednesday his own plans for a husband-wife team to travel to Mars in 2018.

That trip would take 16 months to complete, and the couple would be living in an area about half the size of an RV. To put it another way, it’d be like spending the next year and a half living in JL Beers, but without the burgers or beer.

So that poses the question: Would you rather set sail on a historic sea vessel that is just begging for history to repeat itself or get the chance to go to Mars but have to be confined with your spouse for months on end?

Talk about a no-win solution.

The Titanic II looks and sounds like it’d be the cruise of a lifetime – in a way you’d be reliving history, except without the wacky shenanigans of Kate and Leo.

But boy, you’d be tempting fate in the process. The whole thing just gives me a sinking feeling, you know?

With the trip to Mars, meanwhile, you’d be making history – going where NASA’s astronauts may not go until the 2030s.

But being cooped up with your spouse seems like a destination for divorce. Weeklong road trips can be bad enough for relationships as it is, but 16 months?

Personally, I’m not sure how I could possibly kill that much time with one other person. Unless we had Monopoly or Scrabble to play, in which case I’d be fine.

Faced with either the cold depths of the ocean or the chilly expanses of space, I think I’d ultimately choose the Titanic II.

That way, I wouldn’t have to drink water that’s been recycled from my own urine, as I would on the Mars trip.

Even if on the Titanic I face the potential of the ocean drinking me up instead.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535