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Viking Cruises to homeport from Malta’s Grand Harbour from July

Cruise line activity in Valletta on the increase in a stepped approach.

Starting from July Valletta Cruise Port will be the homeport base for Viking CruisesViking Venus and Viking Sea which will be sailing two different 11-day roundtrip itineraries in the Mediterranean for vaccinated guests.

This news was welcomed by the Maltese Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo. “The way Viking Cruises will be operating is a clear example of how tourism and public health can work well together. With this operation American tourists will be spending time on our Islands which will positively impact our local economy," commented Minister Bartolo.

Meanwhile Stephen Xuereb, COO of Global Ports Holding and CEO of Valletta Cruise Port commented, “Despite the pause in cruising operations it has been a busy time for us at Valletta Cruise Port where together with a number of stakeholders we worked tirelessly on a number of initiatives, including a project for developing shore-to-ship electricity infrastructure in the Grand
Harbour. It is with satisfaction that Valletta Cruise Port obtained the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council, based on reinforced protocols. This process meant that Valletta Cruise Port was well prepared to welcome back the first cruise calls in August last year, with cruise calls ongoing weekly since then. Additionally, Valletta Cruise Port together with local authorities and partners has worked on COVID-19 Cruise Operations Guidelines for a Safe Continuation of Cruising in Valletta with the aim of facilitating operations in this transitional phase, with these operating guidelines having been approved earlier this year. It is thanks to such rigorous exercises that we are in a position to welcome such calls. Testing, reduced ship capacity, rigorous hygiene practices, social distancing and vaccination are some of the measures that will ensure continuity for the industry, and a pleasant, safe and enriching experience for guests into the future”.

Valletta Cruise Port is looking forward to a stepped approach to operations where for the rest of the year it is estimated that it will welcome around 150,000 passenger movements on over 100 calls.

Moreover, Valletta Cruise is supporting a 49.9 million euros initiative spearheaded by Infrastructure Malta and Transport Malta to develop shore-side electricity infrastructure. The first of this two-phased project includes a 37 million euros investment to provide shore power on the five main cruise ship quays of the Grand Harbour by the end of 2023. Excavation works have commenced 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 shore-side transformers and shore-to-ship connection panels that enable ships to turn off their combustion engines and switch to electrical power as soon as they berth. To this effect works are ongoing in earnest on Quays Pinto 4-5.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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