Valletta and Malta Cementing Place as Key Cruise Destination

Downtown Valletta

Tracing its history back thousands of years, Malta has been a strategic port location in the Mediterranean for conquering navies, and now serves as a booming cruise port.

Expectations in Valletta call for just under 800,000 cruise passengers in 2018, with TUI Cruises and P&O Cruises homeporting.

Among other highlights was the christening of the Seabourn Ovation on May 11.

Expecting further expansion, the port will extend a quay in time for the 2020 season, hoping to attract even larger ships.

Located in essentially the center of the Mediterranean, Valletta offers a one-day sailing distance to key destinations in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, and can fit into most itineraries.

Valletta played host to the 52nd General Assembly of MedCruise last week, and was one of six founding port members of the organization in the mid 1990s. Attendance for MedCruise was estimated at a strong 130 people.

The port is integrated in the city center, offering seven berths. Four of those berths are located within a 15-minute walk to the city center.

A long list of attractions cater to premium shore excursion offerings, and guests exploring on their own should be happy with no shortage of points of interest near cruise berths.

 A second port on offer is also on the growth trek, as Gozo caters to small ships, offering an exclusive anchorage.

Gozo is now seeing around 20 calls a year, he said, mostly from small and premium cruise lines.

“A stop in Gozo is a good compliment to calling in Valletta. They are two completely different ports,” added Ivan Mifsud, managing director of Malta Cruise Services.

 A local cruise network in Valletta brings together key parties involved in the cruise business, ranging from port officials to tourism agents, maritime agents, the pilots, airport officials, taxi drivers and the local police.

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