TUI Cruises announces that in the 2011 season Valletta (Malta) is to be the Mediterranean port of departure. From May to November 2011 the seven-day cruises will start and finish in Valletta. On its “butterfly cruise schedule” the “Mein Schiff“ will call at the ports of Piräus (Athens), Kusadasi in Turkey, Mykonos, Catania on Sicily as well as Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno, Monte Carlo and Ajaccio on Corsica.

“Having Valletta as the port of departure gives us the opportunity of having a quite exceptional schedule,“ said Richard J. Vogel, Chief Executive of TUI Cruises, explaining the choice of the base port. TUI Cruises is the only German cruise company to offer two different routes from Malta, one in the eastern Mediterranean and one in the western.

The parliamentary State Secretary of the island of Malta, Dr Mario de Marco, is pleased about the decision of TUI Cruises: “The choice in favour of Valletta as the home port for the “Mein Schiff“ is gratifying but at the same time represents a commitment for us towards which I have no doubt that the private and public sector will work in unison towards achieving,” according to de Marco. “We will continue with our endeavours to further expand Valetta and consequently, Malta as a competitive cruise ship destination and a convenient base for home porting, given its strategic location,” he added.

Besides providing very good general conditions, the Maltese port authorities and the local tourism organisation have presented a coherent concept that plans on introducing numerous joint marketing activities.