Ship Fact Files


Owner: Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (White Star Line)

Ship Name:


Vessel type: Passenger/baggage tender

Official No: 44514 (French Registration)

Harland & Wolff Ltd,
Queen's Island,

Yard No: 422

Laid down: 22 December 1910

Launched: 25 April 1911

Handed over: 27 May 1911

Port & Date of Registry: Cherbourg, n/r

Managing Owner & Address:
Georges Ehrenberg,
14 Rue d’Enghien,


Number of Decks: 2

Number of Masts: 1

Rigged: Sloop

Stern: Elliptical

Build: Clencher

Framework & Description of Vessel: Steel

Number of Bulkheads: 7

Number of water ballast tanks: 1


Length: 220.7 ft

Breadth: 37.15 ft

Depth: 13.6 ft

Gross Registered Tonnage: 1,260.22


Engine Builder: Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast

Engine Type: 2 x reciprocating

Cylinders: 2 X 13½; 2 X 27 inches

Stroke: 18 inches

Nominal Horse Power: 101


Description: Cylindrical multi-tubular

Number: n/r

Iron or Steel: Steel

Pressure when loaded: n/r

Screw: Twin

Speed: 10 knots

Signal Letters: French Registry - not required


Nomadic and her sister ship Traffic (Yard No. 423) were designed as passenger and baggage tenders for operation at Cherbourg. The ‘Olympic’ class represents the first truly integrated travel system. The design of vessels, yard to construct, ports to handle, docks to service and repair and the shoreside infrastructure such as passenger sheds and the hotels and railways needed to bring and accommodate passengers to and from the ports all had to be designed, planned and built from scratch. At Cherbourg the French port was not large enough to accommodate the ‘Olympic’ class so the Company needed tenders to bring passengers and their baggage to and from the liners waiting off the port. Other shipping lines used converted passenger ferries but White Star ordered new purpose built tenders. The result was Nomadic for 1st and 2nd Class passengers and Traffic for 3rd Class passengers, cargo and baggage with an added feature - baggage creepers - similar to those used today by the airlines, this equipment dramatically speeded up turn around times at the port. Innovation was key not only to maintaining White Star’s position as one of the world’s greatest shipping lines but also established Harland & Wolff as a world-class shipbuilder.
Nomadic is preserved on Queen’s Island, Belfast and open to visitors.