Compagnie Tunisienne de Navigation

Tunisian Navigation Company
الشركة التونسية للملاحة
Industry Shipping
Founded 1959
Headquarters Tunis, Tunisia
Area served
Mediterranean Sea
Services Passenger transportation
Freight transportation
A COTUNAV cargo ship Amilcar in Tunis harbor, 2012

The Compagnie tunisienne de navigation (CTN or COTUNAV) is a Tunisian shipping line, providing regular passenger ferry connections between Tunisia and the ports of Marseille and Genoa, as well as freight transport to Barcelona and Livorno.

Founded on 7 March 1959, it initially concentrated on the development of regular shipping links between Tunisia and its principal trading partners, essentially serving only Marseille and Rouen. However, with the drive to diversify Tunisian overseas trade, it rapidly expanded its route network to encompass ports in Italy, Spain, Germany and the Benelux countries.

In the 1970s CTN expanded its presence in the transport of crude oil, petroleum products and foodstuffs. With the commissioning in 1978 of the ferry Habib, providing service between Tunis, Marseille and Genoa, it also increased its involvement in passenger transport. CTN expanded its fleet by buying the bulk carriers Moularès and S’hib in 1976–77 and El-Kef in 1982.

Moving to roll-on/roll-off service, CTN turned to the renewal of its fleet, taking delivery of El-Jem and Tozeur in 1977, and of Bizerte and Kairouan in 1979. For the summers of 1990, 1991 and 1992 CTN also chartered the turbo-electric ship Carlo R from the Sicilian company Alimar.[1]

Forced to re-evaluate its activities in the light of recent changes in the maritime world, CTN has gradually sold its older ships in order to refocus attention on its core businesses. It is gradually renewing its fleet with the commissioning of two large ro-ro ships of 18,000 tons: Ulysse and Salammbô 7. In June 1999, the line’s new Norwegian-built ferry Carthage came into service. Capable of accommodating 2,208 passengers and 666 cars, and with a speed of 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h), it makes weekly crossings between Tunis and Marseille and Tunis and Genoa.


CTN operate a fleet of eight vessels consisting of three RORO passenger ferries, four ROPAX ferries and one bulk carrier.

Current fleet

Name Built Enterered service Tonnage Notes
Amilcar 2000 2010 22,900 GT
Carthage 1999 1999 32,298 GT
El Kef 1982 1982 17,066 GT
Elyssa 2000 2010 22,900 GT
Tanit 2012 2012 51,000 GT
Salammbo 7 1997 1997 17,907 GT
Ulysse 1997 1997 17,907 GT


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  1. Castell, Marcus (2003–2005). "The Turbo Electric Vessel Rangatira of 1971". The New Zealand Maritime Record. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
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