Virtu Ferries, operates a scheduled High Speed Car/Passenger Ferry Service between Malta and Sicily. With a crossing time of 90 minutes to Pozzallo 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 300,000 passengers and 54,000 private and commercial vehicles, annually, between Malta and our closest neighbour, Sicily. The M/V JEAN DE LA VALETTE was delivered, in August 2010 and can carry 800 passengers and 156 vehicles including up to 20 trailers, commercial and other heavy vehicles.
The schedule of just over 860 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 JEAN DE LA VALETTE 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.
The JEAN DE LA VALETTE is the fifth largest high speed catamaran in the world and the largest operating in the Mediterranean. This state of the art vessel was designed and built specifically for the Malta-Sicily operation based on Virtu’s over 25 year experience on this route.