Travelling to Malta the Scenic Way
Is it the journey, or the destination? When you're taking a trip to Malta, it can be a little bit of both. While most people reach the island by taking one of the many cheap flights on offer from around Europe, the sky isn't the only option available when going to Malta. For instance, you can also take a ferry from the Italian coast of Sicily. It's a slower form of transport compared with an airplane, sure, but that's part of the charm of sea travel. In this article, we're taking a look at everything you'll need to know about reaching the island by boat and enjoying every moment of it.
Two ferry companies offer routes from Sicily to Malta.
Grimaldi Lines run one ferry a week between Catania in Sicily and Valletta, the capital city of Malta. This journey takes approximately 7 hours and 15 minutes, departing at 5:15 AM and arriving at 00:30 AM. The other ferry service is offered by Virtu Ferries, which operate up to eight crossings per week during the peak travel season. And they can be much quicker, too. If you're departing from Pozzallo in Sicily, then you'll be in Malta in a brisk 1 hour and 45 minutes. The only downside to that trip is that you'll have to first get to Pozzallo, which isn't always the easiest place to reach.
Virtu also offers rides from the same dock as Grimaldi Lines in Catania. These ferries depart at 06:45 AM and 6:30 PM, docking in Malta at 11:00 AM and 10:45 PM respectively, with a journey time of 4 hours and 15 minutes.
What You'll Find Onboard
Your sea experience will depend on which company you travel with. Both have their charms. The Grimaldi Ferry is the less aesthetically pleasing of the two. It resembles a freight ferry, in large part because, well, it primarily transfers freight. But that doesn't mean it offers an industrial-quality level of service. If you're on board the Olympia (they do sometimes use other ships), you'll find bars, restaurants, a games room, and a pool. Virtu offers essentially the same services, minus the pool. They transport their passengers on a catamaran boat, which explains the faster journey time.
Preparing For Malta
One of the many advantages of travelling to Malta via ferry is that it'll give you the time and space to plan what you're going to do on the island once you dock at the port. Onboard, you'll find Malta travel books that'll tell you all the essential info about the must-visit attractions. This is especially helpful if you're on a longer trip (for example, in Sicily) and haven't had time to research what you'll do. While on the ferry, you can prepare for a trip to one of the most fun attractions in Malta, too. If you're planning to visit Casino Malta during your stay on the island, use the journey to get yourself ready for the action by trying your hand at some no deposit slot games. In the end, your plan will depend on your personal preferences, and the ferry service you choose. If you arrive during the afternoon, then you can explore the sights or hit the casino right away. If you arrive at night, head straight to your hotel for a night of rest.
Choosing The Right Ferry Service
So how should you choose which ferry service to use? The biggest influence will be your travel plans. Depending on when you want to travel, you may find that your only option is Virtu Ferries since Grimaldi only offers one journey a week. If you can choose between the two, then consider what you're expecting from the trip. Grimaldi offer cabins, which means you can get a few hours of sleep before you arrive in Malta. If you're prioritising time, then there's only one choice: Virtu will get you there three hours quicker than their rival from Catania, or 5.5 hours quicker if you're departing from Pozzallo.