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TUI Cruises - 3 Years of Successful Homeporting in Malta

The Chief Executive Officer of TUI Cruises, Richard J. Vogel, was the recipient of recognition by the Ministry of Tourism on behalf of the Malta Tourism Authority in appreciation of TUI Cruises’s homeport operation in Malta.  On presentation of this recognition to Mr Vogel during a press conference on Wednesday 27th November, the Hon. Karmenu Vella Minister for Tourism said that Malta appreciates the trust that TUI Cruises demonstrated in Malta, when four years ago decided to launch weekly butterfly cruises from and to Malta.  Since the start of homeport operation in Malta, in May 2011, TUI Cruises have brought over to Malta close to 130,000 cruise passengers.

The success of TUI operation consolidated Malta’s reputation as a reliable partner for cruise lines.  Minister Vella added that the fact that TUI Cruises have confirmed that they will be homeporting again in Malta in 2014 and 2015 further consolidates the country’s relationship with TUI Cruises.

In his remarks, Mr Vogel said that he feels honoured to receive this sign of appreciation. Malta has made TUI Cruises feel welcome from the very beginning. Both partners have developed the relationship into a mutual and beneficial cooperation. Consequently, Valletta will be the homeport of TUI Cruises’ first newly built ship “Mein Schiff 3” for the Summer Season 2014. Having a capacity of 2,500 passengers it will bring even more guests to Malta and marks a further step in the progress of this long-term commitment. 

The Chairman of Valletta Cruise Port, Mr Joseph Zammit Tabona praised Mr Vogel’s foresight. He noted the remarkable co-operation that exists between TUI Cruises, Valletta Cruise Port, SMS who are TUI Cruises’s agents in Malta, Malta International Airport, Transport Malta and the Malta Tourism Authority. This co-operation has supported in an efficient homeport operation that is duly recognized internationally.  Thanks to operators such as TUI Cruises, the cruise sector in Malta is contributing to the success of the tourism industry in Malta.

Mr Simon Mifsud, Managing Director of SMS Shipping, the local agents of TUI Cruises said that he was very proud that SMS had been chosen to handle all ground arrangements. He explained how the logistical requirements for such an operation are huge, however, with the cooperation of all the stakeholders, Malta was proving itself to be professional, efficient, reliable and flexible in meeting and exceeding the expectations of TUI on all fronts. TUI are bringing an extra dimension to Maltese cruise lovers with Orange Travel Group booking over 2,000 Maltese passengers per year. Bookings for 2014 on the Mein Schiff 3 are already looking very positive.

During his brief stay in Malta, Mr Vogel also had a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Briffa


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