Maritima Ferries

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Maritima Ferries
Industry Passenger transportation
Freight transportation
Founded 1969 (As CGTM)
1976 (As SNCM)
2016 (As Maritima Ferries)
Headquarters Marseilles, France
Area served
France, Italy, Algeria, Tunisia
MS Danielle Casanova departing the port of Bastia
MS Pascal Paoli

Maritima Ferries is a French ferry company operating in the Mediterranean, following the bankruptcty and sale of SNCM (Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée), the company was re branded to Maritima Ferries from 2016 onwards.

Its ferries sail from Marseille, Toulon, Nice on mainland France, Calvi, Bastia, Ajaccio, Ile Rousse, Propriano, and Porto Vecchio on Corsica, Porto Torres on Sardinia, Algiers, Oran, Skikda and Bejaia in Algeria as well as Tunis in Tunisia and Genoa in Italy.

SNCM traces its history back to 1850.


  • In 1855, the Compagnie Générale Maritime was created.
  • In 1861, the Compagnie Générale Maritime changed its name to the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique.
  • In 1969, the Compagnie générale transméditerranéenne (CGTM) was created by joining the Mediterranean services of the Compagnie générale transatlantique with the Compagnie de navigation mixte.
  • In 1976, the CGTM came under state control and changed its name to SNCM. The state ownership was managed 75% by the Compagnie générale maritime (CGM) and 25% by the SNCF, the latter influencing the new name.

2005 privatization[edit]

In September 2005, French Prime minister Dominique de Villepin presented a project of privatization of the company. Villepin was to hand out the SNCM to Butler Capital Partners for 35 million euros, after a previous "recapitalisation" of 113 million euros (injection of new capital by the state). However, this project caused a public outcry, as it put into question the balancing out principle of public transports (péréquation), meaning that to insure the continuity of the national territory and the equality of all concerning this important territorial continuity. In other words, the state-owned SNCM was to insure transport between the mainland and Corsica all year long, even though in exclusive market terms it may be considered as not profitable enough, in order to insure the possibility for Corsicans to accede to administrative services as well as any other Frenchman. Moreover, Butler was Villepin's schoolmate and friend from l'ENA, the elite public servants school.

Following hard negotiations and a strike by the CGT trade-union and the Corsican Workers' Trade Union (STC), a new project was presented. In May 2006, the company was privatized. Connex (which has since became Veolia Transport, a subsidiary of Veolia Environment group) took 28% of the SNCM (against 38% for Butler in the previous arrangement); the state kept 25% of the shares, and 9% sold to the employees. 400 layoffs were planned; in addition to the 113 million euros reinjected by the state before the privatization, 35 million euros were to be given to finance the layoffs.

In 2008, Butler sold its shares to Veolia, who became the main shareholder with 66% of shares.[1] In 2011, the shares were passed on to Veolia Transdev (now simply Transdev), after Veolia merged with Transdev (historic).

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014 and was subsequently placed in receivership of the court of Marseilles.[2]


Ship Flag Built Joined
Type Gross tonnage Length Width Passengers Vessels Knots Photos
Corse (fr) France 1983 Ferry 12.686 GT 145 m 23,8 m 1.800 620 22 Le Corse (ferry).jpeg
Méditerranée (fr) France 1989 Cruiseferry 30.985 GT 165 m 27,4 m 2.450 700 24 Méditerranée - Corsica Linea.png
Monte D'Oro (fr) France 1991 RoPax ferry 22.070 GT 145 m 25,7 m 528 130 19 Monte d oro au port de Nice.jpg
Paglia Orba (fr) France 1994 RoPax ferry 29.718 GT 165,8 m 29 m 544 120 19 Paglia Orba - Corsica Linea.png
Jean Nicoli (fr) France 1998 2009 RoPax ferry 30.010 GT 200,6 m 25,8 m 1.052 600 27 Jean Nicoli - Corsica Linea.png
Danielle Casanova (fr) France 2002 Cruiseferry 41.447 GT 176 m 30,4 m 2.204 700 23 Danielle Casanova - Corsica Linea.jpg
Pascal Paoli France 2003 RoPax ferry 35.760 GT 176 m 30,5 m 622 130 23 Pascal Paoli - Corsica Linea.png

On charter from foreign companies[edit]

Ship Flag Built Joined
Type Gross tonnage Length Width Passengers Vessels Knots Photos
Excelsior (fr) France 1999 2013 Cruiseferry 39.777 GT 202 m 28 m 2.253 760 23 Ship Excelsior of Grandi Navi Veloci.jpg

Out of service[edit]

Ship Flag Built Joined
Type Gross tonnage Length Width Passengers Vessels Knots Photos
Napoléon Bonaparte (fr) France 1996 Cruiseferry 44.307 GT 172 m 30,4 m 2.462 660 23 Napoléon Bonaparte SNCM 03.JPG


  1. ^ (in French)SNCM: Veolia récupère de nouvelles parts Archived 2014-08-30 at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved 11 September 2014
  2. ^ Andrew Spurrier (2014-11-29), SNCM is put into administration, IHS Inc. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Seville, Richard (2009). Mediterranean Ferries. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781871947984. 

External links[edit]