S.S. Nomadic: Last vessel of the White Star Line


While some of the most prolific passenger liners of the early 20th century may be long gone, there’s one small ship that still remains afloat.  Throughout it’s history, the S.S. Nomadic has witnessed many events including the departure of the RMS Titanic from it’s stop in Cherbourg, France before leaving for it’s fatal voyage.  Nomadic also served as a transport for U.S. troops during the second world war, and served the RMS Queen Mary.  The S.S. Nomadic was built in 1910 with the intention of serving as a tender ship for White Star Line’s Olympic Class Ocean Liners, the famed line of ships that included the RMS Titanic.  A tender ship is a smaller vessel that is used as a transport to move passengers to the larger vessels.

S.S. Nomadic pictured with R.M.S. Olympic, sister ship of Titanic

Like RMS Tianic, Nomadic was not the only vessel of her kind as she had a sister ship named the S.S. Traffic.  While Nomadic was used to transport the first and second class passengers to the larger vessels, Traffic was used to transport the the third class passengers.  Nomadic had a lavishly decorated interior throughout her service.  While her sister ship S.S. Traffic was deemed too old and scuttled in 1940, Nomadic had a brighter fate and survived beyond her role as a world war II transport by going back into service as a tender for Cunard Line, which White Star Line had previously merged with.  Nomadic was purchased and turned into a restaurant ship in the 1970’s.

By the early 2000’s concern arose over the ship’s preservation as she was the only surviving vessel of the White Star Line.  The last ship that originally belonged to the White Star Line, the RMS Brittanic(not the same as the Olympic class one) was scrapped in 1960.  The government of Northern Ireland purchased the Nomadic in 2006 through an auction and the ship was returned to the Harland and Wolf Shipyard where she was originally built.  The ship now awaits a restoration that could cost up to seven million and is protected as part of the United Kingdom’s National Historic Fleet.  That’s not bad for a ship that’s nearly one hundred years old.

For more information visit: http://www.nomadicpreservationsociety.co.uk/

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