A ferry that transported passengers and luggage onto the ill-fated Titanic, was sold for scrap metal and used as a restaurant may get one more life tomorrow when it goes on the auction block.
The Nomadic, a 221ft ferry currently docked in the northwest port of Le Havre, will be put up for auction in Paris with a starting price of £172,000 (€250,000), the French Titanic Society said today. The vessel failed to sell on November 10 for £344,000 (€500,000).
At least three buyers – an association from Belfast hoping to erect a Titanic memorial, a Monaco company and a French collector – are expected to bid for the ferry, the society said.
On April 10, 1912, the Nomadic ferried 142 of 274 passengers from Cherbourg onto the Titanic for the fabled luxury liner’s ill-fated inaugural voyage. Five days later, the Titanic hit an iceberg and plunged into the Atlantic.
The Nomadic was commissioned by the White Star Line and built by Harland & Wolff of Belfast, Northern Ireland, to haul cargo and passengers onto massive trans-Atlantic liners.
After its last transfer, for the Queen Elizabeth II at Cherbourg in 1968, the Nomadic was sold to a scrap metal dealer for demolition. It was finally abandoned in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, on the Seine River near Paris, to be dismantled.
In 1974, Yvon Vincent saved the Nomadic, transforming it into a floating restaurant on the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. However, the Paris Port Authority seized it in 2000 for unpaid debts.
The Nomadic has been in dry dock in Le Havre since April 1, 2002.