Valletta Cruise Port has welcomed the first call by Carnival Cruise Line to Malta, with the arrival of the Carnival Vista.

Minister for Tourism, Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis said "this development was very exciting and that the islands looked forward to enhancing the relationship between the Maltese Islands and Carnival Cruise Line. Another interesting development is that approximately 80% of Carnival passengers are from the United States. This will help to diversify Malta’s cruise line market."

2015 was an record year for the industry in Malta as 307 cruise  vessels entered the Grand Harbour. According to figures published by the National Statistics Office, these vessels carried more than 670,000 passengers, up by 30% from 2014. Minister Lewis said the trend was continuing. Winter business is picking up too as 17 cruise ships called in the port between January and March 2016, eight more than last year. N

“The results attained reflect the drive by all stakeholders to develop our product and promote Malta’s increasing attractiveness and popularity as a leading cruise destination in the Mediterranean, in what is a highly competitive market,” stated Dr. Lewis.

Meanwhile Valletta Cruise Port’s CEO Mr. Stephen Xuereb commented that in 2016 Valletta Cruise Port is welcoming more than 74 calls from Carnival brands which include amongst others Costa and AIDA, with over 150,000 passengers onboard. 7 of these calls are by Carnival Vista with over 27,000 passengers.

“Valletta Cruise Port has just invested €1.5 million in Forni Terminal to accommodate the increasing flows of passengers onboard the larger ships. Improving the infrastructure on Quays 4/5 and towards Lascaris Wharf is critical to the continued growth of the industry in Valletta. We are currently working on these plans looking to the future,” commented Xuereb.