Virtu Ferries operates a scheduled High Speed Car/Passenger Ferry between Malta and Sicily. With a crossing time of 90 minutes to Pozzallo and 3 hours to Catania, this daily, year-round, day return, service has eliminated the geographic divide between Malta and main land Europe, making Malta truly part of the European market.
The service, operational since 1988, now carries in excess of 250,000 passengers and 25,000 private and commercial vehicles between Malta and our closest neighbour, Sicily, annually. The Maria Dolores, delivered by builders Austal Ships, Australia, in 2006 was built specifically for this route; she carries 600 passengers and has a garage space, equivalent to 65 cars, the vessel also carries trailers, commercial and other heavy vehicles.
The schedule of just over 500 round trips per year allows for year-round Day Return Excursions to Sicily from Malta and similar seasonal excursions to Malta from Sicily; these excursions, of ever increasing popularity, have turned Malta and Sicily into two-point tourist destinations. Significantly the schedule also caters for niche commercial markets with a daily interchange of fresh agricultural and dairy products and fish between the two islands. The Maria Dolores has revolutionized transport, and consequently trade, between these two Mediterranean islands. A more recent emerging market is Maltese residents owning a family holiday home in Sicily.
Virtu Ferries has commissioned the building of a new, much larger, vessel due to be delivered by builders Austal in August 2010. The Jean de la Valette, which will replace Maria Dolores on this route, will cater for the increase in commercial and private traffic and will carry 800 passengers and 200 vehicles in state of the art comfort and safety.
"Virtu", Ta' Xbiex Terrace, Ta' Xbiex, XBX 1034, Malta
Tel: +35623491000 Fax: +356 21314533 email@example.com
Virtu Ferries S.R.L., Via Studi 80 97016 Pozzallo, Sicily
Tel: +390932799668 firstname.lastname@example.org