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Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2013-07-27 by ivan sache
Keywords: compagnie meridionale de navigation | lozenge (white) | letters: cmn (red) | rastit |
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[Compagnie Meridionale de Navigation house flag]

House flag of CMN - Image by Jorge Candeias, 24 February 2004

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Presentation of CMN

The Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation was founded in 1931 by the brothers Henri and Félix Rastit, who had married the daughters of the shipowner Gianonni, from Cassano, in the Balagne region (northern Corsica). Initially, the company operated a coastal line between Marseilles and Agde (Languedoc), with the small wooden ship SS Canigou, of Norwegian origin. In 1936, the company bought in the Netherlands a similar ship, MS Brescou, and extended its line to Port-Vendres (Roussillon) via the other ports of Languedoc. Seized by Italy in 1942 and renamed Aprile, the ship was lost on a mine off Tunis in December 1942.

In 1937, the CMN started to transport oil products and bulk cargoes from continental France to Corsica. The company has been operating ro-ro ferries since 1970.
After the war, the company resumed its service, opening scheduled lines to Corsica and Algeria. The Algerian line was suppressed following the independence of Algeria, and the company relocated two ships in New Caledonia in 1970, MS Capitaine-Wallis and Capitaine-Nemo. The two ships were sold in 1974 when the Pacific branch was suppressed.

In 1976, the CMN was partially granted the public transportation service between continental France and Corsica. Passenger and car transportation started in 1988.
In 2002, the French government sponsored a new service of so-called "territorial continuity" between Marseilles and Corsica, jointly granted to the CMN and to the SNCM.

The CMN serves two lines:
- the Corsican line : Marseilles-Corsica (Ajaccio, Bastia, Propriano);
- the Sardinian line (since 1989): Marseilles-Porto Torres & Marseilles-Propriano-Porto Torres.
The CMN owns three cargo-passenger ferries:
- Girolata (2002): 550 passengers, 160 cars, 1,900 linear meters of trucks;
- Kalliste (1993): 500 passengers, 120 cars, 2,340 linear meters of trucks;
- Scandola (1994): 250 passengers, 90 cars, 1,600 linear meters of trucks.
The CMN has three agencies in Marseilles, Ajaccio and Bastia.


  • CMN website
  • Paul Bois. Armements marseillais - Compagnies de navigation et navires à vapeur (1831-1988), published by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marseille-Provence [boi03].

Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004

Flag of CMN

According to the company website, the flag of the CMN is blue with a white lozenge touching the borders of the flag and charged with the red letters "CMN"

[Compagnie Meridionale de Navigation former flag]

older house flag of CMN - Image by Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004

The flag shown by P. Bois seems to be an ancient design, probably superseded by a modern one with more "modern" letters.

Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004