Valletta Cruise Port has reported total cruise passenger movements of 76,828 in October – up 30% over October of last year. This was Valletta’s best October in its 10 year history. During the month, there was also one maiden call by the Costa Marina on Oct. 27.

Since the beginning of the year, total cruise passenger movements stands at a record 493,495, which is more than the total registered for the full year in 2010 (490,744). Valletta Cruise Port registered its 500,000th passenger with the TUI Mein Schiff 1 during the last home-porting call of the season. To celebrate the last call of the season, the Malta Tourism Authority gave a farewell fireworks display upon the Mein Schiff ‘s1 departure from Malta’s Grand Harbour.

The impact to the local economy is significant, according to the port, which said in a prepared statement that its investment program has created direct and indirect sources of employment, generating in excess of €250 million to the local economy since 2005.

In addition, Valletta Cruise Port’s has established a new ferry service between Malta and Libya, will start its operations this November. Regular, scheduled service is expected to start this week in a collaboration between Valletta Cruise Port, the Zammit Group, Fergun Shipping and BH International of Libya.

In its statement, the Valletta Cruise Port also said it wanted to credit its local agents, the Malta Tourism Authority, Air Malta, Malta International Airport and Transport Malta, which, it said, have been constructive in working with the port  to develop the cruise sector business in Malta.