Washington, D. C. 20549

                        Report of Foreign Private Issuer
                      Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16 of
                       the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                         For the month of December 2004

                 (Translation of registrant's name into English)

                                  Canons Court
                               22 Victoria Street
                                 Hamilton HM 12
                    (Address of principal executive offices)

         Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file annual
reports under cover Form 20-F or Form 40-F.

                          Form 20-F  X    Form 40-F
                                   -----           -----

         Indicate by check mark whether the registrant by furnishing the
information contained in this Form is also thereby furnishing the information to
the commission pursuant to Rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of

                                  Yes        No  X
                                     -----     -----


     Attached  hereto  as  Exhibit 1 is a copy of the  press  release  issued by
Nordic American Tanker Shipping Limited ("NAT" or the "Company") on December 17,

Exhibit 1

Nordic American  Tanker  Shipping Ltd. (NAT) - (NYSE:  NAT) (OSE: NAT) Letter to
the Shareholders

Hamilton, Bermuda, December 17, 2004

Dear Shareholder:

With 2004 coming to a close, I would like to send you this message,  providing a
snapshot of where we stand at this time.

2004 has been a very exciting year for NAT, the most notable  development  being
that the  company has been turned into an  operating  company.  Thereafter,  the
company may expand its operations.  NAT could not do that in the past because of
the Bye Laws of the company.  Two of our ships  (Nordic Hawk and Nordic  Hunter)
have been  rechartered  to BP on time charters for three years at market related
rates - in direct continuation of the BP contracts that expired in September and
October.  According  to the terms of the  contracts,  NAT will  receive the spot
market rate minus five per cent  according to an agreed  formula which  contains
neither a floor nor a ceiling.

The market  related  rates for our two ships that are  chartered to BP eliminate
the risk of not  finding  immediate  employment  in the spot  market  and are an
attractive  alternative  to the  costs of  rapidly  building  a spot  chartering
operation in-house.  Since NAT has become an operating company,  NAT has assumed
the  responsibility  of providing crews and of operating the ships  technically.
These functions have been outsourced to a first class technical  manager of high

The  company  became an  operating  company on  October  18th 2004 when the last
charter  from BP was  rearranged.  A  short  time  thereafter  we  acquired  the
1997-built double hull Suezmax tanker, the Wilma Yangtze. The ship was chartered
back to the seller under a contract that expires at the end of January 2005. The
addition of Wilma Yangtze to our fleet is accretive to our earnings and dividend
compared  with a fleet  of  three  ships,  and  that  vessel  remains  accretive
irrespective  of spot rate levels in the future.  Starting in February  2005, we
expect that we shall have three ships in the spot market for the time being. The
fourth ship is on long term  contract - providing  us with what we believe to be
the lowest cash break even among tanker companies that are publicly listed.

It is the expressed policy of the Board to pursue a high dividend payout policy.
Another important  dimension of our strategic platform is expansion of our fleet
of high quality and environmentally friendly vessels.

The focus on the  environment  is a never  ending  process.  During the last few
weeks there have been two incidents  involving vessels,  unconnected with us, in
US waters, one in Alaska and one near Philadelphia, incidents receiving a lot of
attention in the press. This development puts even greater focus on the need for
first class technical operations,  good ships and protection of the environment.
As you know, our double hull ships are of a first class standard.

Relatively  speaking,  NAT now has the strongest  balance  sheet among  publicly
traded  companies in the tanker industry,  having no debt. In addition,  we have
been able to raise a USD 300 million  credit  line which is a forceful  tool for
expansion.  This credit line has been  provided by four top rated  international
shipping  banks and is a sign of the trust that these  banks have  placed in our

Given the  strength  of our  balance  sheet,  our  policy in  general  is not to
accumulate  cash  over  time in the  company.  We are of the view  that the cash
belongs to you, our  shareholders.  In our view,  it is also  expensive to carry
cash on the balance sheet compared with the price of having the credit line.

We wish to expand  when the  timing is right.  However,  growth  should not take
placFe at the  expense  of  profitability  and our  ability to  continue  to pay

Shipping  rates have shown great  volatility  in the past and are  difficult  to
predict.  During the last months the market has been very strong.  A good tanker
company  management in our judgement does not so much try to predict rates as it
must plan to be successful in the midst of uncertainty.  At the time of writing,
spot rates are strong although the market  traditionally  slows down towards the
end of the year.  Rates may rise from here, they may remain at the same level or
they may drop.

Our general view is that the tanker  market  dynamics are  favourable.  However,
based upon our long experience in the industry, we know that the future may take
another course.  For NAT, with our goal of serving our  shareholders in the most
efficient  manner,  it is always a  question  of  adapting  to the market as the
market  may  develop.  We now  have a  very  good  foundation  for  the  further
development of the company.

In addition to  shareholders,  our valued  customers  represent a very important
constituency.  I am very pleased to report that we enjoy a high  reputation with
all our  friends in the oil  industry - also a platform on which to build in the
future. Our focus on customers will never cease.

Our  policy is that any  project  that we may  undertake  must be  accretive  to
earnings and dividends per share. We do not intend to deviate from that policy.

We are overwhelmed by the support shareholders give our company. Many of you are
in direct  communication with us, expressing views and comments on the status of
the company. Such an active approach is very much appreciated.

I take this  opportunity  to wish all of you the best for  Christmas and for the
New Year.  We always  welcome and  encourage  your active  participation  in the
development of the company.  Please see our website:  where you find
all the contact details.

Again, thank you very much!

Herbjorn Hansson
Chairman and CEO

this press  release  may  constitute  forward-looking  statements.  The  Private
Securities  Litigation  Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor  protections for
forward-looking   statements   in  order  to  encourage   companies  to  provide
prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include
statements concerning plans,  objectives,  goals,  strategies,  future events or
performance,  and underlying  assumptions and other statements,  which are other
than statements of historical facts.

The  Company  desires to take  advantage  of the safe harbor  provisions  of the
Private  Securities  Litigation  Reform  Act  of  1995  and  is  including  this
cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation.  The words
"believe,"  "anticipate,"  "intend," "estimate,"  "forecast," "project," "plan,"
"potential,"   "will,"  "may,"   "should,"   "expect,"   "pending"  and  similar
expressions identify forward-looking statements.

The  forward-looking  statements  in this press  release are based upon  various
assumptions,  many of which  are  based,  in  turn,  upon  further  assumptions,
including  without  limitation,   our  management's  examination  of  historical
operating  trends,  data  contained in our records and other data available from
third parties.  Although we believe that these  assumptions were reasonable when
made,   because  these   assumptions  are  inherently   subject  to  significant
uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and
are beyond our control,  we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish
these expectations, beliefs or projections. We undertake no obligation to update
any forward-looking  statement,  whether as a result of new information,  future
events or otherwise.

Important  factors  that,  in our view,  could  cause  actual  results to differ
materially from those discussed in the  forward-looking  statements  include the
strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including
fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, changes in demand in the tanker
market,  as a result of changes in OPEC's petroleum  production levels and world
wide oil consumption and storage,  changes in our operating expenses,  including
bunker  prices,  drydocking  and  insurance  costs,  the market for our vessels,
availability of financing and  refinancing,  changes in  governmental  rules and
regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from
pending or future  litigation,  general  domestic  and  international  political
conditions,  potential  disruption  of  shipping  routes  due  to  accidents  or
political  events,  vessels  breakdowns  and  instances of  off-hires  and other
important  factors  described  from  time to time in the  reports  filed  by the
Company with the  Securities and Exchange  Commission,  including the prospectus
and related prospectus supplement and our Annual Report on Form 20-F.

Scandic American Shipping Ltd
Manager for
Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd.
P.O Box 56
3201 Sandefjord
Tel: + 47 33 42 73 00 E-mail:

Rolf Amundsen
Chief Financial Officer
Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd.
Tel: +1 800 601 9079 or + 47 908 26 906

Herbjorn Hansson
Chairman & CEO
Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd.
Tel: +1 866 805 9504 or + 47 901 46 291


     Pursuant to the  requirements  of the Securities  Exchange Act of 1934, the
registrant  has duly  caused  this  report  to be  signed  on its  behalf by the
undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.


Dated:  December 22, 2004                          By: /s/ Herbjorn Hansson
                                                       Herbjorn Hansson
                                                       President and
                                                       Chief Executive Officer

01318.0002 #535118