Last Updated on Thursday, 20 April, 2023 at 2:24 pm by Andre Camilleri
Valletta Cruise Port (Malta) has welcomed MSC World Europa on her first call to Valletta as part of her inaugural 7-night West Mediterranean itinerary.
MSC World Europa is the largest ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet pushing the boundaries of ship building, design and technology to new levels, taking sustainability at sea to higher levels, representing a major step towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
The lively tunes of a traditional brass band welcomed guests through Valletta Cruise Port’s terminal and onto the Valletta Waterfront. The maritime tradition of a Crest Exchange to celebrate a ship’s first visit to a destination took place on board between the Master of the Vessel Captain Dino Sagani and local authorities. The line also welcomed nearly 200 guests on board MSC World Europa, including Malta’s Minister for Tourism Clayton Bartolo and other government officials, plus local tour operators and travel agents, to experience MSC Cruises’ ninth vessel to be registered under Malta’s maritime flag.
The 215,863 gross tonne ship can accommodate up to 6,762 passengers and will visit Valletta on weekly calls throughout summer 2023, winter 2023-24 and summer 2024 during 7-night cruises to Italy, Spain and France.
Angelo Capurro, Executive Director, MSC Cruises, said, “Malta has been an integral part of our operation for nearly 25 years, and we have brought hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers to visit this wonderful island. We will continue to bring even more guests to Valletta in the future, and we are very proud that MSC World Europa, an ultramodern metropolis at sea, will be a weekly visitor for at least the next 18 months at her port of registry.”
Stephen Xuereb, COO, Global Ports Holding and CEO, Valletta Cruise Port added “We are proud to be welcoming yet another splendid MSC Cruises’ ship to our scenic Grand Harbour, the MSC World Europa for the first time. Valletta Cruise Port will be hosting her on another 36 calls during this year as part of her inaugural Mediterranean season. Indeed, next year she will call Malta on another 52 occasions, all through the year. MSC Cruises is the key cruise line calling Valletta, and it is our pleasure to continuously collaborate with MSC, a relationship which has, over the years, left an enduring mark on an evolving cruise industry. On behalf of both Global Ports Holding and Valletta Cruise Port we congratulate MSC Cruises on their achievements, and look forward to many more years of fruitful joint cooperation and partnerships.”
Valletta has positioned itself as a significant port on the cruise map through a drive for excellence and close collaboration will all key players. Together with all stakeholders including the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, the Malta Tourism Authority, Transport Malta, agents and all service providers, Valletta Cruise Port endeavours in the delivery of an outstanding service leading to the conferment of various awards during its 20 years of operation, following exceptional trade and passenger feedback.
Currently two key infrastructural projects by Infrastructure Malta are in progress on Valletta’s quays which Valletta Cruise Port is actively supporting. The Shore-to-Ship project will continue improving the quality of air in the Maltese Islands, and make the Grand Harbour operations more sustainable. The project will allow ships to switch off their engines and hook up to electrical provisioning through the quays. Furthermore, Infrastructure Malta is working on widening Quays Pinto 4-5 to 16 meters, allowing for the larger cruise ships to berth without the need of spacer barges, making the operation safer and more attractive. This investment will make Malta more competitive, and help both the Islands and the cruise lines to meet the stringent environmental targets that will come into force in the upcoming years.