Malta approves safety guidelines for continuation of cruising

Malta approves safety guidelines for continuation of cruising

Valletta Cruise Port

Valletta Cruise Port has been receiving calls weekly since August 2020

Maltese health authorities have approved operating guidelines developed by Valletta Cruise Port and local partners for future cruise calls to the country.

The guideline document, titled Covid-19 Cruise Operations Guidelines for a Safe Continuation of Cruising in Valletta, establishes and merges Valletta Cruise Port’s operational plans, procedures and guidelines with cruise line protocols to ensure the safe continuation of cruising. Any future calls to Malta must follow these guidelines.

“It has been a challenging time for the cruise community, but the industry is clearly inching closer to a restart,” said Stephen Xuereb, CEO of Valleta Cruise Port and COO of Global Ports Holding. “After months of discussions with numerous stakeholders we are happy to be sharing these guidelines with the cruise lines and look forward to welcoming cruise ships, their guests and crew to Valletta.”

Valletta Cruise Port began preparations for cruising after the pandemic in January 2020 after its operator, Global Ports Holding, revised the Emergency Response Plans and Health and Safety Protocols for all 19 ports in its network. The port also obtained the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council based on its reinforced protocols. These preparations enabled the port to begin receiving weekly calls from August 2020.

The port is also supporting a €49.9 million ($59.6 million) initiative led by Infrastructure Malta and Transport Malta to develop shoreside electricity infrastructure. The first phase of the project includes a €37 million investment to provide shore power on the five main cruise ship quays of the Grand Harbour by the end of 2023.

Excavation works have begun for the underground electricity cables that will distribute electricity from an existing distribution centre to the quays at Valletta’s Grand Harbour. Each quay will be supplied with shoreside transformers and shore-to-ship connection panels that enable vessels to turn off their combustion engines and switch to electrical power as soon as they berth, with work currently in progress on quays four and five.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
18 March 2021

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