Catch The Sliema Ferry

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Spend any time in Valletta and you can’t help but be impressed by its magnificent and historic Grand Harbour. And if you make it to the lovely Valletta Waterfront complex when there’s a cruise liner in port then you’ll no doubt feel a pang of jealousy when seeing those lucky passengers, who’ve avoided all the traffic and parking chaos, by gliding into the city in serene fashion.

Well, it’s a little known fact among the tourists who come to Malta that anyone with a couple of Euros in their pocket can also cruise into Valletta and avoid all the traffic. You won’t have to fork out a four-figure sum, or spend a week trapped on board trying to avoid that deathly dull car parts salesman and his wife that share your table at dinner. The cost to you, or anyone else for that matter, is a measly €1.50!


For that price, you can’t expect your transport to be quite as glamorous or luxurious as one of those giant liners. It’s not! It’s called the Sliema Ferry and there’s no pool! It leaves for Valletta from a place called Sliema Strand. This is opposite the trendy ‘shopping and cafe' zone of Sliema, the bit that overlooks Valletta and the tiny Manoel Island.


For obvious reasons, this area has come to be known locally as Sliema Ferries - a title goes back to colonial times when a ferry service between Sliema and the capital of Valletta was first introduced.


Back then, the service (along with a similar one between the Three Cities of Bormla, Birgu and Isla over to Valletta) was mostly intended for British servicemen who needed to work in the capital every morning. It was also used by the civil servants on their way to the various Government offices. But the advent of better-organised and more efficient public transport, especially during the winter months led to the demise of the ferry.


This was a shame, and so thought Captain Morgan Cruises, a boat trip operator that decided to put in place a similar, though less ambitious service, a few years ago. The idea was to transport some of the growing number of tourists wishing to cross to Valletta by sea.


This shuttle service now runs regularly between Malta's capital and the seaside town of Sliema, one of Malta's most desirable residences and impressive seaside promenades. The crossing is fast and convenient and takes little more than five minutes. Boats run throughout daylight hours on the hour and half hour. If you’ve timed yourself covering the same distance and trying to find a parking space in Valletta, then you’ll agree that €1.50 each way is an absolute steal!


As you sail across, the approaching image of Valletta provides a wondrous backdrop with its golden, sun-lit picture of Baroque splendour mixed with robust fortifications and an inspiring skyline. And all for a piffling amount of money!


The trip itself is an enjoyable and short 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 that will be on their way to Gozo and other nearby destinations. You almost hope that the journey could be longer.


Be warned at this point that parking in Sliema, like Valletta, is not easy during peak summer season but if you do spot a space on your way to Valletta then this is easily the best way to complete the journey.

Further Information

Website :
Email :
Address: Captain Morgan Cruises, Dolphin Court, Tigne Seafront, Sliema SLM 3012
Phone: +356 2346 3333

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