The only ship left from the White Star Line, the company that built and sailed the RMS Titanic, has been refurbished and opened as a museum. The Nomadic was built alongside the Titanic in Belfast and ferried doomed passengers to her in her only voyage.
The ship began it's new life as a museum in Belfast last week after marine history enthusiasts rallied to save her from being scrapped and were part of convincing Northern Ireland's Department of Social Development to buy her for £200,000 ($315,000 U.S.). The effort to rebuild her has taken some 7 years and cost £9m ($14.1million U.S.).
"This is the closest anyone is going to get to walking on the decks of the Titanic," the chair of the Nomadic Charitable Trust, Denis Rooney, said of the museum. "You are going to be walking in the footsteps of the passengers who were transported to the Titanic on that one fateful journey and you will be enjoying the same luxury and class as the first class passengers."
The Nomadic continued to sail for the White Star line after the Titanic sunk and saw service in both World War I and World War II as a minesweeper and a troop carrier. She also spent 30 years as a floating restaurant in Paris.
Along with the Titanic Belfast, a massive visitor center that opened on April 15th, 2012, the centenary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, The Nomadic exhibit gives Belfast, fittingly, the world's strongest draw when it comes to Titanic enthusiasts. Rooney says the experience is a visceral one and lauds the museum's attention to details.
"When you come on to the Nomadic you can touch the rivets, the same rivets the craftsmen of the Titanic drilled in, you can touch the hull," he said. "It certainly makes it worthwhile coming to Belfast just to see and experience the Titanic."