Five cruise ships with five different ownerships graced the Grand Harbour of Valletta on the 22nd of July. The cruise ships brought over 14,000 passengers and 5,000 crew members.
As was expected, the Valletta waterfront and its surroundings were a hype of activity. The Malta Tourism Authorities also organised an In Guardia re-enactment along the quays highlighting the Great Siege and the events happening during the period of the Knights of St John.
Malta has seen a surge in cruise ships and passengers this year. According to the National Statistics Office the number of tourists arriving by ship has soared by 66% between April and June to a total of 205,224. Visitors from the EU made up three-quarters of cruise liner passengers, the major stakeholders being Germany, Italy and France.
The Hon. Dr Edward Zammit Lewis, Minister for Tourism, stated that this was an important day for the tourism industry in Malta as it is a testament to the ongoing proactive collaboration between public and private entities to ensure that such cruise operations are efficiently managed.
Valletta needs to continue to cater for such peaks, as the Hon. Dr Edward Zammit Lewis, went on to state that this year is set to be a record year in terms of cruise passengers, with an estimated 640,000 passengers on 325 cruise ships due to enter the Maltese port.