Sliema Ferry To Valletta
Every year, around half a million people have the enviable privilege of arriving at Malta's historic capital city of Valletta by boat, or on one of those enormous cruise ships to be precise. Travelling to the city by boat is surely the best, most romantic, historic and picturesque way of winding up in this wonderful city - and thanks to the Sliema Ferry, it’s attainable for everyone, even mere mortals like me.
The route runs from Sliema Strand, the trendy ‘shopping and cafe' area of the suburb overlooking Valletta and the tiny Manoel Island. This is also popularly known as Sliema Ferries. Its title goes back to the old, colonial times when a ferry service used to shuttle between Sliema and the capital of Valletta.
The service (there was a similar one between the Three Cities of Bormla, Birgu and Isla over to Valletta) was mostly intended for British servicemen based in Sliema who needed to reach the city every morning, and for civil servants on their way to the Government offices. But the advent of better-organised, more efficient land public transport, especially during the winter months, eventually led to the demise of the ferry.
A similar, though less ambitious, service was, however, successfully introduced a few years ago by long-established boat trip company Captain Morgan Cruises to help cope with the growing number of tourists wishing to cross over to Valletta by sea … and who can blame them?
This shuttle ferry service now operates regularly between Malta's capital and the seaside town of Sliema, one of Malta's most desirable residences and impressive promenades. The fast, convenient crossing of the harbour takes only five minutes and runs throughout daylight hours on the hour and half hour.
The approaching image of Valletta, as the boat sails towards it, is a wondrous sight to behold. It provides a sun-lit picture of Baroque splendour mixed with robust fortifications and an inspiring skyline. And for a piffling amount of money, it’s an absolute tourist bargain! It costs just €1.50 each way!
The trip itself is an enjoyable ride past Manoel Island, named after the Grandmaster of the Knights who fortified it, and across Marsamxett Harbour with its yacht marinas, fishing boats and bigger ships on their way to Gozo and other nearby destinations.
It is quality time that simply runs out rather too quickly. It’s also a cunning and brilliant way of avoiding traffic problems and the fight for parking places that ensues on arrival in Valletta. So, top tip here, park in Sliema, ferry across to Valletta!
Address: Dolphin Court, Tigne Seafront, Sliema SLM3012, Malta
Phone : +356 2346 3333