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Company History

“Malta’s leading ship owners”

Virtu Holdings is a conglomerate of ship owning companies which, overtime, diversified into other interests including maritime related activities such as bunkering and ship management as well as tourism, real estate and import.

The company’s core activity is owning, managing and operating High Speed Passenger and Car Ferries.

CORPORATE PROFILE

Virtu Holdings saw its origins as a ship owning company in 1945 operating cargo vessels between the Mediterranean and northern European ports. Currently the company’s core business is that of owners and operators of High Speed Passenger/Car Ferries on various routes, including Malta-Sicily and ports in the Adriatic. Other maritime services include bunkering and ship management.

A number of other interests include real estate with a portfolio of commercial, industrial and residential properties in some of the island’s prime sites and a holding in one of Malta’s leading 5 Star Deluxe hotels.

 
COMPANY HISTORY
The original parent company was established as a ship owning company in 1945 and later developed diverse interests. Virtu Holdings was incorporated in 2002 to take over all core shipping activities with the company divesting itself of other interests.

The company’s first vessels traded on a scheduled service between Malta and northern European ports and later on tramping services. In the immediate post World War II years  the company was responsible for clearing Maltese harbours and national waters of derelict and sunken vessels; a salvage operation undertaken on behalf of the British Government over a period of fifteen years.

In the early 1980s, in partnership with Italian and Norwegian interests, as Virtu Naval Services, the company owned and managed a fleet of oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf and traded in petroleum, including salvage of off-specification products from war casualties. The company was the operator, on behalf of the Government of Dubai, of the Dubai Dry Docks Tank Cleaning Facilities.
Currently the company’s main maritime activities include Virtu Ferries, established in 1988, which operates a scheduled, year round Malta-Sicily Passenger/Car Service. Venezia Lines, incorporated in 2003, are operators of a seasonal passenger service between Venice and Adriatic ports in Croatia and Slovenia as well as a passenger/car ferry between Bari, Italy and Durres, Albania. The Company carries in excess of 350,000 passengers and 30,000 vehicles annually.
Virtu Ferries commissioned the building of the company’s first high speed vessel the San Frangisk, 310 passengers, from Norwegian builders, Brodrene Aa, in 1989. A second vessel, San Gwann, 427 passengers and 22 vehicles, was delivered by Fjellstrand As, Norway, in 2001. Maria Dolores, 600 passengers and 35 cars and 95 truck lane meters, joined the company from builders Austal Ships, Western Australia, in 2006. Virtu Ferries commissioned the building of Jean de la Valette, 800 passengers and 45 cars and 342 truck lane meters from the same builders for delivery in August 2010.
In 2002 Virtu Holdings, together with other Maltese partners,  commenced a bunkering service off-shore Malta and Central Mediterranean. Virtu Holdings has a 25% stake in The Island Bunker Oils Group of Companies, Malta’s leading off-shore bunker supplier. This company  owns  a fleet of five tankers and in 2005 was awarded the first of two contracts for stand-by oil spill recovery vessels by the European Maritime Safety Agency.
All vessels fly the Malta Flag and are managed by the company’s marine technical department, Tankship Management Ltd, a 100% owned subsidiary of Virtu Holdings.