Published: 26th May 2022

Shining New Light on SS Nomadic’s History


An outdoor lighting feature has been installed on SS Nomadic, providing a new lease of life on her historic decks. The project is being launched as part of Local History Month celebrations, shining a spotlight on the iconic White Star Line vessel.

The £91k investment came from a collaborative partnership by Tourism Northern Ireland and owners of the vessel, Maritime Belfast Trust. The project was undertaken by Anthony Hayes of AH Design, a company with over 30 years’ experience in building services specialising in lighting design.

The completed installation uses accent lighting to elegantly illuminate the ships decks, funnels and gangways. The lights are versatile and can be changed in colour. These will be co-ordinated with Titanic Belfast’s pre-existing illumination schedule, marking important calendar dates and key local, national and international events. Following a soft launch, the lights were configured and tested, lighting up blue and yellow in a show of solidarity for the people of Ukraine along with the rest of the Maritime Mile.

Judith Webb, Product Development Manager of Maritime Belfast Trust, charity owner of SS Nomadic said: “Careful thought went into the design to ensure the integrity of the 111-year-old ship was maintained, while adding a transformative and dynamic visual element. The lights have really enhanced the ship and we are delighted with the results. SS Nomadic now has the ability to light up alongside the other attractions along the Maritime Mile, including Titanic Belfast, The Great Light and SoundYard, creating a more cohesive and impactful visual experience”.

Keith Shorten, Commercial Director at Titanic Belfast added: “We are very proud to have SS Nomadic as part of the Titanic Belfast visitor experience and feel the new lights have dramatically transformed the outdoor space adding so much value. We are hopeful the new lights will be a factor in driving additional footfall to the destination at night, supporting the development of an evening economy along the Maritime Mile and in Titanic Quarter.”

Carole Long, Investment Programmes Manager at Tourism NI said: “We are delighted to support the latest instalment on the SS Nomadic through our Experience Development Programme. This exciting new outdoor lighting feature has visually transformed the outdoor space alongside the other attractions on the Maritime Mile. I have no doubt this feature will be central to the visitor experience in Belfast, and will create new and compelling reasons to visit the area.”

SS Nomadic’s History

In April 1912, Nomadic completed her most famous task by transferring the excited first and second-class passengers from the shallow dockside in Cherbourg out to Titanic, which was moored in deeper water just offshore.

During World War One Nomadic served as a minesweeper and in 1940, Nomadic took part in the evacuation of Cherbourg port, helping troops and workers escape the German army.

After spending over fifty years carrying thousands of passengers to the world’s largest transatlantic liners and nearly thirty years as a restaurant and party venue moored beside the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Nomadic was ready to be scrapped. The ship was saved by the Department of Social Development and in July 2006, SS Nomadic was brought back to her rightful home in Belfast.

The tender was painstakingly restored and opened to the public, before being integrated as part of the Titanic Experience in 2015. Now 111 years old, guests can explore Nomadic’s decks and discover authentic White Star Line history first hand. A visit after nightfall is not to be missed as Nomadic, now in a new chapter, elegantly illuminates the Hamilton dock, making her contribution to the Belfast skyline.

To find out more about SS Nomadic’s history visit