Construction has begun on the world's first full-size replica of the Titanic in China, a country that fell in love with the 1997 blockbuster movie about the doomed ocean liner.

Future visitors to the city of Daying in southwest China will be able to climb aboard the NZ$203 million, 300-metre luxury cruise ship in a reservoir on the Qijiang River and experience a simulated collision with an iceberg and subsequent sinking, the official China Daily reported.

Other attractions under construction include a dining hall, theatre, first-class cabins, economy cabins and swimming pool, according to Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Company executives speaking with the Chengdu-based West China City Daily.

It is not known when the new ship will open, but tickets for a one-night, economy-class berth start at about $608, China Daily said.

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One of the first foreign blockbusters with state-of-the-art special effects to enter China, the James Cameron film swept the nation in 1997. Then-president Jiang Zemin reportedly told Politburo members to go see it.

The 3-D re-release of the film reportedly grossed a record-breaking $94m in six days in China.

- DPA