Titanic Foundation acquired the SS Nomadic, the biggest Titanic artefact, from the Nomadic Charitable Trust in April 2015
As part of Titanic Foundation’s remit to protect and promote the maritime and industrial heritage of Belfast we have taken on ownership of the SS Nomadic from April 2015.
SS Nomadic is now operated by Titanic Belfast Limited, Titanic Belfast’s commercial operator, who have aligned their 5 star visitor attraction experience to Titanic’s little sister. In collaboration with Titanic Belfast Limited, it was recognised that there would be significant benefits in joining up the operations of both Titanic Belfast and the SS Nomadic, advancing the development and promotion of Titanic Quarter as an international maritime heritage destination.
The SS Nomadic is the last remaining White Star Line ship anywhere in the world, an authentic piece of Belfast’s maritime heritage and the biggest Titanic artefact.
Designed and built by Harland and Wolff in 1910-11, the SS Nomadic has many of the same luxurious finishes as RMS Titanic, and is a quarter of the size. Built to be a tender ship for the White Class Liners Olympic and Titanic, Nomadic took passengers, luggage and ships’ stores to and from the liners when they were moored off ports that weren’t deep enough to accommodate them. The ship was launched in April 1911, capable of carrying 1000 passengers segregated into First, Second and Third Class accommodation. Nomadic was sent to Cherbourg in June 1911 to commence tendering duties, and in 1912 transported 274 passengers out to RMS Titanic when it docked there in April.
Since then Nomadic has had a varied career, and saw active service in both World Wars as a troop carrier. Nomadic also carried thousands of passengers out to the world’s great liners in Cherbourg, including the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, before spending decades in Paris as a floating restaurant and party venue. In 2005 Nomadic was languishing in Le Havre when local enthusiasts became aware of its plight, and began a campaign to ‘Save the Nomadic’ from scrappage.
The Department for Social Development stepped in and bought Nomadic in 2006, bringing it home later that year. The Nomadic Charitable Trust was set up to oversee its restoration and conservation, and the ship opened to the public in 2013. Once opened, the Nomadic Charitable Trust recognised that they shared the same objectives as Titanic Foundation Limited and agreed that they would transfer their assets over and subsequently wind up to create greater operational synergies and sustainability across Titanic Quarter.