A "packet ship" was originally a vessel employed to carry post office mail packets to and from British embassies, colonies and outposts. In sea transport, a packet service is a regular, scheduled service, carrying freight and passengers. The ships used for this service are called packet ships or packet boats. The seamen are called packetmen, and the business is called packet trade.
"Packet" can mean a small parcel but, originally meant a parcel of important correspondence or valuable items, for urgent delivery. The French-language term "paquebot" derives from the English term "packet boat," but means a large ocean liner.
This sense became extended to mean any regularly scheduled ship, carrying passengers, as in packet trade. The word "packet" is frequently modified by the destination, e.g. Sydney packet, or by motive force, e.g. "steam packet".
Other articles related to "packet ship":
... Using the iron-hulled Betsy Ann, Way ran a packet ship between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh for a number of years ... purchase of the Betsy Ann, she had held the packet ship speed record on the Mississippi River since the 1900s, winning and retaining a set of gold-tipped elk horns ... wrote a book of his experiences as a river packet ship captain called The Log of the Betsy Ann ...
Famous quotes containing the words ship and/or packet:
“The worlds a ship on its voyage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“The captain was a duck
With a packet on his back,
And when the ship began to move
The captain said, Quack! Quack!”
—Mother Goose (fl. 17th18th century. I saw a ship a-sailing (l. 1316)