Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from Titanic.

London - A Chinese firm began construction of an exact replica of the Titanic, 104 years after the liner sank with the loss of more than 1 500 people.

Engineers on the £116-million project are even simulating the ship’s collision with an iceberg using light and sound effects.

The exact replica of the original, pictured, will play on the 1997 movie Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Guests will pay £315 (about R5 300) to spend a night in a cabin on the vessel, which is due to be finished next October and will be moored in the Qijiang River in Sichuan, central China.

Responding to critics who say the 1912 maritime tragedy is being used to boost tourism, designer Curtis Schnell, a Hollywood producer, said the attraction was conceived in a “very respectful way”.