Valletta Cruise Port will be welcoming the MSC Grandiosa on August 21.
The call will be operating under a strict and comprehensive health and safety protocol that applies equally both on land and at sea, according to a press release.
Despite Maltese ports being open since the July 1, no cruise ships have called at Valletta since March 2020.
MSC Cruises’ new operating protocol has been designed to also protect the health and safety of the local communities that the company’s ships visit as well as guests and crew, according to a statement.
Stephen Xuereb, CEO of Valletta Cruise Port and COO of Global Ports Holding commented: “We are excited to be welcoming MSC Grandiosa back to Valletta. The safety and well-being of guests, personnel and the local community is our upmost priority. In the last months together with the local health and tourism authorities and the cruise lines, we have been busy working on protocols that ensure a safe, secure and seamless experience for our guests. Testament to this, Valletta Cruise Port has been awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travel’ stamp which recognises the adoption of health and hygiene global standardised protocols..”
Emre Sayin, CEO of Global Ports Holding Plc added: “For a company like ours, which handles thousands of cruise calls in a normal year, one call does not seem so significant. But this call is an important milestone because it is the first international cruise call to one of the 19 cruise ports we operate since the whole world locked down as a result of the pandemic. I also find it comforting that the measures go beyond anything we have seen so far: Everyone involved in the journey is tested either in the ship or in the port. This will give cruise-goers and local communities ease of mind. As GPH, we are ready to host cruise guests, adopting protocols which have been accredited with the ‘Safe Travel’ stamp by the World Travel and Tourism council. The GPH ports already accredited are Barcelona, Malaga, Antigua, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Zadar and of course Valletta.”
Additionally, guests will not be allowed to go ashore independently but only on protected excursions thus also protecting the communities they visit.