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Paquet (French shipping company)

Last modified: 2002-10-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: house flag | shipping company | paquet | marseilles |
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[Paquet]by Al Fisher Jr

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History of the Paquet company

The company retained the name of its founder, Nicolas Paquet (1831-1909).

In 1860, Nicolas Paquet founded Société Nicolas Paquet et Compagnie.
In 1863, the name of the company was changed to Compagnie de Navigation Marocaine Nicolas Paquet et Compagnie. The company owned 3 vessels (900 tons all together) and operated scheduled lines from Marseilles to Gibraltar, Tangiers, Casablanca, Mazagan (now El-Jadida), Mogador (now Essaouira) and a few years later the Canary Islands.

In 1878, the company has increased to 6 vessels (5,000 tons alltogether).

In 1880, the company opened a scheduled line to the Black Sea, with the servicing of Istanbul, Trabzon, Batumi, Poti and a few years later Novorossisk. The company was once again renamed Compagnie de Navigation Marocaine et Arménienne Nicolas Paquet et Compagnie".

In 1906, the company owned 27,500-ton vessels.

Nicolas Paquet was vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce (now Chamber of Commerce and Industry) of Marseilles from 1891 to his death.


  • Guiral, P., Reynaud, F. (eds.) Les Marseillais dans l'histoire. Privat, Toulouse (1988)
  • Baratier, E. (ed.) Documents de l'histoire de la Provence. Privat, Toulouse (1971)

In the 1990's, Paquet was the last French company proposing upmarket cruises (including a cruise round the world), with the Mermoz as flagship. Paquet was absorbed by the Italian company Costa in the middle of the 1990's.

Ivan Sache, 5 November 2000

Former flags

[Paquet former flag]by Ivan Sache

A poster advertising the Black Sea line (therefore not earlier than 1880) shows a former house flag of the company, an horizontal triband blue-red-blue with NPC in white in the red stripe. The red stripe is wider than the blue ones.

[Paquet former flag]by Ivan Sache

On later posters, the house flag was changed to a red lozenge on a blue background with the letters CNP for Compagnie de Navigation Paquet. I suppose (without any evidence) that Nicolas Paquet's heirs changed the company name and used CNP as an anagram of the original NPC.

Ivan Sache, 5 November 2000

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