Liverpool's floating Titanic hotel attracts criticism
A floating hotel based on the ill-fated Titanic liner has been criticised as being in "poor taste".
The three-bed Titanic Liverpool hotel, moored in the city's Salthouse Dock, is due to open next week.
It is painted with slanting lines on the sides to create the illusion that it is sinking into the water.
Owner Alfie Bubbles, himself a former merchant seaman, said he has had an overwhelmingly positive response and never intended to cause offence.
But the hotel has attracted criticism from some people.
More than 1,500 people died when the Titanic, which was registered in Liverpool, hit an iceberg on 14 April 1912 and sank the following morning.
Liverpool was the headquarters of the White Star Line, the shipping company which owned Titanic.
Chief executive of the Liverpool Seafarers' Centre John Wilson said the hotel's location was one of his prime concerns.
"It is going to be located in view of the Merchant Navy memorial, in view of the White Star building, and also the memorial by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company which was rededicated for the 100 year loss of the Titanic," he said.
"Furthermore, there would still be living in the Merseyside area and even in Liverpool, relatives of those who lost their lives.
"To have an image of something that is purporting to be a vessel sinking, to an active seafarer, if he or she were to see this it would just ring the wrong bells for them."
He added: "There will be those who think it is wonderful and something different, I appreciate that, but I just feel at the back of my mind it is in poor taste for those who lost their lives."
Liverpool businessman Mr Bubbles already owns two other floating hotels in the dock - the FAB4 Beatles Yellow Submarine Hotel and one themed around the Batman villain The Joker.
'Bit of fun'
He said: "You have got to get things in perspective, it is not in poor taste at all, it is a bit of fun.
"I am an ex-merchant seaman myself and I would never ever dream of causing any disrespect to any merchant seaman, whether it be something to do with the Titanic or any other merchant sea or Royal Navy disaster.
"It is just an optical illusion of the way it looks in the water."
Mr Bubbles said he surveyed visitors to his neighbouring floating hotels and "99.9% of them" agreed that a Titanic hotel would be a good idea.
He said he already has many advance bookings.
"We have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds inside on the theme, we have replicated the first class dining area on the floor from old pictures," he said.
"You have got to take it with a pinch of salt, it is not a chip at anyone.
"If I thought it really was going to cause an uproar, I would just change it back to a normal looking if drab floating boat in the Albert Dock.
"People are always going to have opinions but the only response we have had so far has been positive."