The collection of original maritime posters focuses mainly on cruise liners and the great routes. Shipping companies caught on to the poster trend as early as the mid-19th century. The most famous French shipping companies to have commissioned artists to create posters include the Messageries Maritimes, the Chargeurs Réunis, the Compagnie Havraise Péninsulaire, the Compagnie Touache which went on to be sold to the Compagnie Mixte and the Compagnie Paquet. The Elbé maritime collection includes posters from shipping liners in other developed countries such as the Cunard Line and P&O amongst others. The Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and famous White Star Line enjoyed a virtual monopoly on transatlantic routes until the 1930’s and the advent of air travel. Shipping and railway companies captured the public’s imagination with posters bursting with exotic illustrations, often Orientalist, a western tradition that promoted the romantic idea of a faraway land. Schools in every European country emerged, creating specific movements for designing maritime posters. Cruises lasted several months and travelling to a port was also considered an important part of the adventure, not just to the final destination. Artists such as Sandy Hook, David Dellepiane and Albert Sébille all excelled in the art of designing posters. Many great naval painters also added one or several posters to their name. In the 1920s, the French Navy used posters as a recruitment tool by alluding to travel and the exotic unknown: “Join the Navy, you’ll be eligible for a bonus, a stipend and retirement benefits”. Charles Hallo, known as Alo signed a notorious picture portraying a Maharajah, Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and sailors in uniform admiring the incredible scenery. The far corners of the world featured on the walls of small-town train stations, posters inviting travelers to explore the colonial Empire, its islands with the promise of adventure by taking to the oceans. Maritime posters became references in the art world in their own right, with the most famous pre-war art-deco example being one poster of the SS Normandie ocean liner signed by Cassandre.