Valletta, Malta has just been named #3 on the Top-Rated Western Mediterranean Cruise Destinations in Cruise Critic’s 2017 Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards. The awards are given based entirely on consumer feedback submitted on the Cruise Critic website over the past year.
According to Cruise Critics, sailing into Valletta, Malta, is akin to stepping into the pages of a J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy; once you are in the protected harbor, it feels as though modern civilization has disappeared.
Malta, which owns 7,000 years of intriguing history, is fully modernized and contemporary. The tiny Mediterranean country is part of an archipelago of five islands, only three of which are inhabited. Cruise ships visit the island of Malta and the port of Valletta (designed by a colleague of Michelangelo). Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, and architectural and historical monuments.
Paul Bugeja, CEO, Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), said “It’s an honor for Valletta, Malta, to be recognized as a top Western Mediterranean cruise destination by the visitors themselves. We have in fact been expanding our port facilities and witnessing a major increase in cruise ships that include Valletta on their itinerary, This has resulted in a dramatic increase in passengers stopping in Valletta in the first quarter of 2017, totaling 85,215, almost double the figure for the same time period in 2016.
Among the major American cruise liners stopping in Valletta, are Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean and Holland America.
“This honor is especially appropriate as Valletta unveils a calendar of festivities to celebrate its designation as European Capital for Culture 2018,” added Michelle Buttigieg, MTA Representative in the US.
The picturesque sail into Valletta Harbor features the formidable defensive stone battlements of forts pockmarked by war guarding the strategic waterway. Cream-colored buildings and ancient church steeples grow out of the twisting streets and hillsides. The landscapes and ancient buildings in Malta have been highlighted in films such as “Troy”, “World War Z”, and Oscar-nominated film, “Captain Phillips”.
Cruise Critic boasts the world’s largest online cruise community, with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 500 cruise ships and over 300 worldwide ports. Awards are based solely on reviews submitted for cruises taken over the past year.
The sunny islands of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, are home to a most remarkable concentration of intact built heritage, including the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state anywhere. Valletta built by the proud Knights of St. John is one of the UNESCO sights and the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Malta’s patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, to one of the British Empire’s most formidable defensive systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do. For more information, visit: www.visitmalta.com