Seven cruise liners sailed into Valletta’s Grand Harbour with 7,478 guests on board. These ships included the MSC Musica, MSC Splendida, Coral, Island Sky, Prinsendam, Arion and Seven Seas Navigator. A total quay length of 1.36km was used to service these vessels.
The ships berthed at the Valletta Waterfront’s quays: Pinto 1 - 2, Pinto 3 and Pinto 4 – 5; on Deep Water Quay as well as on the recently inaugurated Boiler Wharf in Senglea.
As is the standard practice, excursion coaches were parked next to the ships. For the guests opting to explore the island independently, VISET Malta plc, operators of the Valletta Cruise Terminal, was also offering a return complimentary shuttle coach. This made it convenient for visitors onboard ships berthed at Boiler Wharf to also visit UNESCO World Heritage City, Valletta. Meanwhile others opted instead to stay in the vicinity of Boiler Wharf and explore the historic Three Cities, the site made famous by the Great Siege of Malta.
VISET’s CEO Mr. John Portelli commented that today’s operation proves that VISET is well-prepared to handle multi-vessel operations. Over the years, VISET has invested heavily in creating state-of-the-art terminal facilities to accommodate larger vessels and a staff complement capable of handling large amounts of guests simultaneously. The restoration of historic buildings also formed part of this project. The cooperation of all stakeholders both on portside and landside operations was instrumental in handling such a large number of passengers.
Mr. Portelli stated, ‘Whether we are speaking about individual guests or cruise operators, we are meeting every challenge to ensure that guests enjoy an efficient, professional and courteous transfer to or from their ship, whether in terms of more efficient check-in, reduced embarkation times or improved baggage handling. As VISET we understand that attitudes, desires and expectations of today’s consumers are shifting towards personalised services. We do our best to provide individual attention to all our guests. From the Malta Tourism Authority information service available at our terminal, to meet and greet services, the focus in on the personal touch. Also all local attractions are within easy reach of the port and diverse enough to suit all budgets and delight all tastes. We want our guests to leave Malta with an agreeably memorable experience’.
The all-time record for the port of Valletta in terms of ship numbers is eight ships in a single day. Meanwhile the busiest day ever in terms of guest numbers was registered on 2 May 2008, with six vessels in port, 12,729 guests and a total length on quay of 1.5 km.