Paquebot Mail – An Introduction.

Today I wish to add another facet of Philately -The Paquebot Mail. It is also known by various other names across different countries and regions. These other names are “Ship Mail” in Australia, Posted at Sea in different countries, “Schiffsbrief” in Austria and Germany, “Pachhibot” in Italy, “Paketboot” in The Netherlands and its Colonies, “Paquete” in Portugal and its Colonies and “Paquetboat” in the United States.

This field of Philately is very interesting and let me assure you it can be mysterious to find all the information from every Paquetbot cover.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) made special handling regulations for mail posted on the high seas abroad ocean-going vessels at the Vienna Conference in 1891 and further clarified at the Washington DC conference of the UPU in 1896.

Covers and Cards mailed at sea are generally referred to as “Paquebot Covers”.Paquebot is French for “Packet Boat” and the Postal administrations across the World use paquebot handstamps to mark mail received from a sea-going vessel that has no onboard post office.

Such a mail generally originates from Passengers or crew or it might be picked up at a port of call lacking postal facilities for onward transportation to the next port having postal facilities. Mail posted at sea is generally held by ship’s purser or postal officer until the next port with postal facilities is reached.