Cruise traffic on the rise in Malta and Gozo

Cruise traffic on the rise in Malta and Gozo
Valletta Cruise Port in Malta

Malta recorded 682,222 cruise passenger movements in 2016, a 2% rise from 2015 and an all-time high for the Mediterranean island.

A total of 81 ships from 42 different cruise companies visited Valletta Cruise Port. Last year, the port also secured a second regular homeport contract for P&O Cruises’ Oceana.

Malta’s sister island Gozo handled nearly 7,000 passengers during 19 cruise calls – double the number recorded in 2012.

"These results reflect the coordinated and collaborated drive amongst all stakeholders, particularly Valletta Cruise Port, to continue developing our product and promote Malta as a unique and effective destination for Mediterranean cruises,’’ said Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis.

Malta’s government has committed to continue investing in infrastructure improvements and expanding collaboration with stakeholders to attract more cruise lines to Malta and Gozo. Plans include a €6 million project to widen Quays 4/5 at Valletta Cruise Port, and redeveloping the Old Power House to create additional check-in terminals and more quayside cultural and entertainment facilities.

“Between 2016 and 2026 the total of new beds coming onboard exceeds 220,000 worldwide,” said Stephen Xuereb, CEO of Valletta Cruise Port and COO of Global Ports Holding. “Continuous timely investment in our infrastructure and our service delivery is paramount for us to remain competitive.”

In 2017, Malta aims to handle more than 330 port calls and 700,000 passenger movements. P&O Cruises’ Ocean will homeport again this year, bringing more than 100,000 passengers to Malta during 27 port calls as part of a Fly and Cruise programme. The ship will also make five port-of-call visits, which will bring an additional 10,000 passengers to the port.

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By Rebecca
23 January 2017

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