ideal cruise destination at the heart of the Mediterranean
For centuries, the port of Valletta has been regarded by many as
one of the finest and safest natural havens in the Mediterranean.
The imposing bastions surrounding this magnificent port enfold Malta’s
rich heritage of archaeology, history, architecture, art and culture
- all dating back to 6000 years ago. Today, they welcome through
their gates cruise passengers who are eager to explore the palaces,
churches and streets of the cities they guard, or to venture inland
into the quaint villages and countryside to visit the numerous sites.
Nowadays, the Grand Harbour has become an irresistible scene for
over 250 cruise ships, with almost 200,000 passengers onboard, visiting
Malta every year on their Mediterranean itineraries. This success
in the cruise business is attributable to the relative high level
of services given both by the administration and the local port
service providers with the Malta Maritime Authority acting in the
leading role. These include pilots, towage, bunker operators, suppliers,
and most of all the ship and excursion agents.
Malta is adequately equipped to offer a comprehensive maritime service
package to meet the needs of any shipowner. The confidence ship
owners have in the capabilities of the Malta as a cruise destination
is evident from the increase in the number of cruise ships at our
This interest from cruise operators, and cruise passengers themselves,
has induced the Malta Maritime Authority to invest heavily in port
development as well as in services, especially the provision of
higher quality safety and security to meet international standards.
Malta can now boast of having over 750 metres of quay space dedicated
exclusively for the leisure market.
Its long and deep-water berths
ensure that it is able to accommodate alongside a quay even the largest
of the modern cruise vessels on the market, and the newbuidings on order.
However, continuous efforts are made to adhere to individual client requirements,
including the berthing arrangements for cruise liners at Mgarr Harbour,
Gozo or outside other Maltese ports.
The major plan for the future is the building of a new cruise terminal
and landscaping of the waterfront alongside the dedicated cruise berths.
The intention is to promote Malta as hub for fly-cruise programmes. The
cruise industry has, today, become a very important element for the tourism
industry, which is the backbone of the local economy. Henceforth, the
readily available tourist infrastructure guarantees that the land-based
stay is as enjoyable as the cruise itself. Such services include an international
airport with frequent air links to most of the European cruise passenger
source markets, numerous 5-star hotels, and varied shopping centres, historical
sites, sporting facilities, cultural events and entertainment activities.