Formed in 1863 as Compagnie de Navigation Marocaine, the company traded initially to Morocco and in 1868 extended to the Canary Islands. Later routes were started to the Levant and Black Sea and in 1874 the company was renamed Compagnie de Navigation Arménienne et Marocaine. Routes were extended to French West Africa in 1908 and in 1913 the company was renamed Compagnie de Navigation Paquet. Heavily involved in trooping, they lost four ships during the Great War.
After the war, the company resumed its service to Morocco, the Canary islands, Senegal, Levant and Black Sea. The service of Black Sea, less and less profitable because of the increased English and Italian competition, was definitively suppressed in 1934. Most of the fleet was lost during the Second World War and new building commenced in 1946, but the cargo ships were progressively sold and air transport effectively killed off passenger traffic.
In 1960 Paquet created the subsidiary Compagnie Francaise de Navigation for the Marseille – Israel service, and in 1964 absorbed the passenger liners of the Fabre Line. By 1970 all the passenger liners had either been sold or converted to cruise ships and in 1988 the company was taken over by Costa Lines.