The Port in Figures
The past years showed continuous improvement in international cruising and the Maltese cruise sector has moved in parallel. The European cruise market particularly that for the Mediterranean is expanding year on year, while more and larger cruise ships are being deployed in the region. A very important development for the future of the Mediterranean cruising is the extension of the season with winter cruising.
It is the ships themselves, and the quality and diversity of pleasures they provide as the world floats by, that are increasingly becoming an important attraction in their own right. Thus, mega-ships carrying 2,000 to 3,500 passengers and offering almost every conceivable amenity afloat have become the cruise industry’s biggest success story.
The cruise industry in Malta is still quite young. In 2002, almost 350,000 passengers entered the Port of Valletta. 2007 was a particularly good year for cruising, with targets not only met but also surpassed. Until the end of the year, the terminal had handled about 479,000 passengers, 20% more than the total for 2006.
2008 was yet another record year in different yet complimentary sectors: for the number of cruise passenger arrivals, passengers making use of the ferry services to Sicily and maiden calls by new cruise liners. VISET Malta plc's target of reaching half a million cruise passengers was comfortably exceeded with a total of 540,000 turnout, an increase of about 12 percent on the previous year.
The Mediterranean cruise and ferry sectors have an exciting future, with millions of potential customers and a valuable economic contribution. With a stream of beautiful new ships, great marketing and positive relationships with all stakeholders, the Port of Valletta looks to a bright future ahead.