France

Business with the Emigrants

France’s most important cruise line was the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT) based in Paris with its home port being Le Havre at the French Channel coast. The company’s main business was cargo and passenger services to the Americas as well as countries in the Mediterranean. It was founded in 1861 partially on the initiative of Emperor Napoleon III and the business was subsidized by transporting the mail to the Americas and the French colonies. In 1891 they offered their first pleasure cruise in the Mediterranean aboard the vessel Touraine. Other famous vessels of the CGT were the Ile de France and the Normandie.

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