WSL Tender: Nomadic

The White Star Line Passenger Tender, Nomadic

The only existing White Star Line Vessel

White Star Line Nomadic 1911- Present

Built for the White Star Line in 1911 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. Nomadic was a passenger tender designed to ferry passengers from the dock to their ship in harbors that were too shallow to accommodate large vessels.  Nomadic was built as a replacement for the aging passenger tender Gallic. She looked very much like her sister Traffic, also a tender. Nomadic carried passengers from the docks at Cherbourg, France to Titanic in 1912 when she made her final port of call.

The White Star Line sold Nomadic in 1933 to a company in Cherbourg at which time she was renamed Ingenieur Minard. She went on to serve as a patrol boat in WWII for the Royal Navy. After the war, Nomadic (Ingenieur Minard) resumed tender duty with the Queen Mary being the last vessel she served in 1968. 


The Nomadic under construction at Harland and Wolff Shipbuilders, Belfast 1911

She was then sold to a private buyer who renamed Nomadic again and she opened as a restaurant on 1977 on the River Seine in France. The restaurant eventually went out of business, and she just sat for nearly 30 years empty.

Things looked bleak for Nomadic as the owner was looking at having her scrapped. Last year, 2006, she was saved when purchased by the Department for Social Development in Belfast, Ireland.

Complete story follows below.





"The Nomadic has come Home" (95 years later)

(Below) Nomadic in Belfast July 2006

(Above) Images Copyright: David Scott Beddard - Nomadic in Belfast 2006



The SS Nomadic, now owned by the Department for Social Development returned to Belfast, the port of her birth, in July 2006.  

Social Development Minister David Hanson MP said: “It is my great pleasure to confirm that the Nomadic will be back in Belfast in July.  Following competitive tender my Department has contracted Anchor Marine and Hammer Marine Services to bring the Nomadic home to Belfast.  To ensure the safe return of the vessel, a submersible barge will be used which presents the least risk to successfully transporting the 95-year old vessel”.  

The Minister said that he would be announcing a final arrival date shortly.  He also announced that DSD has been taking forward the setting up of a charitable trust to coordinate the fundraising and oversee the restoration of the Nomadic.

“DSD will formally invite Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Belfast Industrial Heritage Society and the Titanic Society to nominate their trustees. These groups have expressed keen interest in the Nomadic and played a leading role in the campaign for the vessel to be purchased by Government and restored as a symbol of Northern Ireland’s maritime heritage and association with the Titanic story.

 “Belfast City Council has pledged £100,000 for the restoration fund, Belfast Harbour Commissioners have agreed to provide a free berth for the vessel and Belfast Industrial Heritage Society has been active in fundraising. I am grateful to them for their assistance and co-operation.

 The Department’s nominated trustees, including the chair, will be announced as soon as possible”.

(Below) Images Copyright: David Scott Beddard - Nomadic in Belfast 2006

(Below) Images Copyright: Julian Hill -  Nomadic in France 1999



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Join the Nomadic Preservation Society and help preserve the memories of the White Star Line and Titanic.






The White Star Line Tenders Nomadic and Traffic tied up together (1912)





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