SS Nomadic


Jul 8, 2023
SS Nomadic in the Graving Dock, Belfast.

SS Nomadic, or Steam Ship Nomadic, was a tender to the Olympic class liners of the cruise ship operators The White Star Line.

This company operated the famous Titanic along with the other ships in its class, the Britannic and Olympic.

The Nomadic was built at Harland and Wolff to transfer passengers and mail to the Olympic class liners from Cherbourg in France because the port did not have the facilities to allow these large ships to dock.

The Nomadic ferried only first and second class passengers and was decorated and kitted according to the décor and standards of first and second class accommodation on the Titanic, Olympic and Britannic. The first-class passengers enjoyed the fore areas of the ship.

Third class passengers were ferried by a different ship, SS Traffic.

Though the Nomadic was built in Belfast it was operated in French coastal waters by a French crew and had both imperial and metric draught markings on opposing sides of the hull.

The vessel arrived in Cherbourg in June 1911 and began tendering duties for the White Star Line.

On 10 April 1912, she transported 274 passengers to RMS Titanic for the liner’s maiden voyage. These included the rich and famous from the USA and UK  including New York millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon Lady Duff-Gordon, Denver millionairess Margaret Brown and mining tycoon and millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim.

The Nomadic operated from Cherbourg until 1969 when it became a disco and restaurant on the River Seine in Paris.

In 2006, the ship was purchased and returned to Belfast where it was restored to its former glory and opened as a visitor attraction.

Do you want to learn more about the history of Belfast? See this site on my Titanic Quarter & Maritime Belfast tour!