Malta, being an island and all, is just the right place where you should think about some boat trips. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of boats and merry seamen who operate them over there on that beautiful Southern-European island.
Sloth knew that we were going to have a boat trip. What we didn’t realize was that we were going to have three of them (out of which two were just marvelous). In this post, you’ll find out how they went and how you can enjoy those beautiful hours on the sea as well.
Enough of words! Heave the anchors and set the sails, it’s time for the boat trips around Maltese islands!
Harbour Cruise – Views of Sliema, Valletta, and Three Cities
The first boat trip we took on Malta was the harbor cruise. This one is probably the easiest to book since there are literally dozens of people offering those to everyone who walks along the Sliema waterfront.
There are many different cruises to attend but since we didn’t want to spend a full day cruising to Gozo yet. So the one and half hour harbor cruise sounded just about right. Captain Morgan took care of our trip that day and let there be some spoilers – no pirates were involved in the process.
The fee for Malta harbor cruise is 16 € for an adult and 13 € for a kid. From our experience, there’s some room for bargaining also when it comes to larger groups. Since there were 8 of us, we got the price down to children’s level and paid a fee 13 € for a traveler.
Harbors of Malta, Here We Come!
The boat was a spacious double-decker with a bar and the toilet facilities on board (thank god for both). Judging the size of a vessel and making quick calculations, there was room for about 100+ hobby sailors known as tourists. Our boat was half empty that day. Probably because of the wind that rocked all the vessels at Sliema bay that day. Few hundred meters out of Sliema bay the wind teamed up with blue Mediterranean water and sailing through some bigger waves showered the boat cruisers pretty good. Fortunately, it was sunny and clothes dried in mere minutes.
The main harbors where the cruise took us are situated around Valletta and are called Marsamxetto Harbour and the Grand Harbour. While some of the boats in the dock were genuinely majestic like a massive ocean cruiser and some of them incredibly fancy like 95-meter superyacht Indian Empress, the most impressive sights for us to see were offered by the architecture. Just to think what those centuries-old walls have seen and who were the men who fought the battles sieges in those forts.
All the sights we saw were accompanied by the audio tour guide who spoke in English and German that day. We were able to understand most of the words spoken, but there were moments when the wind turned the words of an audio guide into crackling mumbo-jumbo. Didn’t matter too much though as there was too much incredible stuff to see anyways.
This one is a must-have experience for everyone who wishes to see Sliema, Valletta and the Three Cities from different angles. Mainly from the perspectives of a sailorman.
Party Boat is Off to See Gozo, Comino, and All the Lagoons
The fourth day of our vacation was scheduled to be the day for a boat party. Since charter boats aren’t just for grabs in the harbors, we booked our vessel a good month in advance. Thanks to good people at Sailing Charters Malta the booking process was quick and painless (something not too common in Southern-Europe).
Since the boat was scheduled to depart at 9.00 from the port situated on the other side of the island, we also booked a bus transfer from Sliema. That cost us another 150 € but that shared with 20+ people was nothing. Especially versus the scenario where everyone tries to get to there on time by taxi or by bus.
The day is long, and there isn’t a restaurant on the boat so you should bring your own food. Our company didn’t feel like cooking too much, so we grabbed 5 large pizzas we had bought last night. While cold pizzas were still edible, all of us wished for something fresher. When looking back, we probably should’ve just fixed some sandwiches and salad for us.
Food usually needs drinks to go with it. There’s a bar on the boat as well, but since it was OK to bring our own drinks, there wasn’t too much business for the bartender. If you want to enjoy cold beverages, you should bring your own cooler bag. Or buy some cold beers from the bar. The bartender will probably thank you for breaking his boredom.
Just like every party a boat party needs some music. Just as we left the harbor, the boat crew turned on some summery dance music. After a few songs, we collectively decided that the boat wasn’t rocking enough, so we put on THIS PLAYLIST by our brother and good friend Sander. As a native of Malta for the last six years, this playlist has been tested on a LOT of boat trips.
Boat Party Color Theme: Blue & Crystal
After half an hour since departing the harbor, we found ourselves between the cliffs of Comino island. That meant we had arrived at a marvel of nature called Crystal Lagoon. After few minutes of enjoying the view with our jaws dropped we decided to make some use of our swimming clothes and dipped into the Mediterranean. The water was still a bit on the cold side in May, but as people from up North, it was just fine.
After some time having a good time at Crystal Lagoon, it was time to take off to Blue Lagoon. While being incredibly beautiful, it was just a bit overcrowded. So after some swimming and obligatory Instagramming, we decided to give the boat captain orders to take us back into the embrace of Crystal Lagoon.
Time in the Crystal Lagoon just flew by. So it was no wonder that three to four hours of dancing, sunbathing and occasional jump dives from the second floor of the boat ended way faster than we could imagine. It was time to leave the majestic cliffs of Comino and Crystal Lagoon for that time. We’ll be back, that’s a promise!
Our transfer bus was already waiting at the port when we arrived. Without too many words and after an hour of driving, we were safely back in Sliema. Just in case don’t plan too much for the evening. The reason is simple – our jolly company was thoroughly exhausted after a day at the sea.
From Sliema to Valletta (and Back, in a Perfect World)
For the last and the least in our list, we placed the most popular boat tour of Malta. Of course, we’re talking about the ferry between Sliema and Valletta. A single ticket costs 1.50 € for an adult (2.80 € for return). After 19.30 the tickets get a bit more expensive (1.75 € / 3.30 €).
That mini cruise in the form of public transport took just 10 minutes of our time. Still, it was enough to offer us some great sights of Sliema, Manoel Island, and Valletta.
Once we were done exploring Valletta for the day, it was time to get on the ferry again. At least that’s what we hoped. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans, and the ferry rides were suspended because of the strong wind and high waves. The only way to get back to our hometown Sliema was by bus. Oh, boy was that a nasty experience since the bus was overcrowded and slow – an exact opposite of the ferries.
Ahoy, skippers! Those were our experience with different boat trips in Malta. We genuinely hope you’ll get there soon enough to sail those beautiful blue Mediterranean waves yourself.