Valletta

An UNESCO-protected Mediterranean port
The capital of the island of Malta
St. John’s Co-Cathedral

Find Mediterranean Cruises

Valletta

A 16th century city

The UNESCO-protected port of Valletta, the capital of the island of Malta, is one of the must-see stops for every Mediterranean cruise of merit.

You can admire this port, constructed in the second half of the 16th century by the Frenchman Jean de la Valette and moulded by the religious and military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, from your MSC ship even before disembarking. The over 300 monuments rising in little more than half a square kilometre make this a place with one of the greatest density of historical attractions to visit during a cruise, not mentioning other attractions such as its beaches, seaside locales and restaurants.

An excursion to the island can start right from its capital, Valletta, which enchants the cruise-goer with its famous Maltese balconies, which decorate the facades of houses in its old quarter. Surrounded by a multitude of churches, which the islanders assure are as many as the days of the year, the St. John’s Co-Cathedral is one of Malta’s biggest tourist attractions.

The National Museum of Archaeology, on the other hand, hosts prehistoric artefacts found on the island. By the Grand Harbour, one can visit the underground passages of Auberge de Castille and the beautiful Baracca Gardens, which overlook the harbour; at night, when the city gates would close, its porticoes served as shelter for travellers. To get a taste of the life of Malta’s ancient nobility, visit Casa Rocca Piccola.

A 16th century Palazzo now the residence of the 9th Marquis De Piro, it has period furnishings and has a bomb shelter built for protection against bombings during the Second World War. The set of the film Popeye can still be seen from Malta’s largest beach, as well as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha with a fresco of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Christ; according to tradition, Saint Luke, who was shipwrecked on the island with Saint Paul, is the author of this Byzantine-style fresco.

Must see places in Valletta

Discover our excursions

11 results found

  • RABAT, MOSTA & MDINA

    CITY TOUR
    • Shopping

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adult price starting from52Price per person

    • Child price starting from 39Price per person

    MLT03

    Half a day off the ship and three of Malta’s must-sees are the measure of this entertaining sightseeing tour that begins with a short coach journey to the first of the destinations: the medieval walled city of Mdina, constructed by the Knights of Malta in the second half of the 16th century and once the capital of Malta. Also dubbed “The Silent Town” due to heavy restrictions on the use of motorised vehicles within its walls, Mdina is a place to explore entirely on foot. You will get to stroll through the lovely old city and have a chance to marvel at its old bastion. Next up is the town of Rabat, where you will take a short walk and enjoy some time to browse for a souvenir. The last place on the tour itinerary will then be the nearby town of Mosta to check out its fabulous Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, which was consecrated in 1871 and whose Rotunda boasts one of the world’s largest unsupported domes. A short coach ride back to the port and your ship then brings the tour to a close. Please note: as your visit to Mdina will be entirely on foot and involves long periods of walking, the tour is unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Although all sites visited are wheelchair-friendly, Mdina terrain is mostly cobblestones and might be uncomfortable for guests using a wheelchair. If wheelchair guests want to take part, they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and their wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made. On Sunday calls, the visit to Mosta Cathedral will be external. Conservative attire recommended for visiting places of religious importance.
  • VALLETTA AND MDINA

    CITY TOUR
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adult price starting from55Price per person

      • Child price starting from 42Price per person

      MLT01

      When in Malta, you can do no better than to pay not only the island’s current capital of Valletta, but also the former capital of Mdina a visit, both of which are the fascinating destinations on this half-day tour. Valletta is first up, where you will go to see the wonderful Barrakka Gardens – a beautifully landscaped public park – to savour breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour, after which you will head for St. John’s Co-Cathedral, built by the Knights of Malta in the second half of the 16th century. The ornately decorated interior is rich in treasures, including a masterpiece by Caravaggio. The tour then continues on to the medieval walled city of Mdina, which is situated in the middle of the island and is also called “The Silent City” due to restrictions imposed on motorised traffic. You will get to visit the Baroque-style St. Paul’s Cathedral, which presides impressively over the town, before enjoying a walk through the narrow streets and lanes of this piece of living history. Your tour then draws to a leisurely close with your return to the ship. Please note: as your visit to Mdina will be entirely on foot and involves long periods of walking, the tour is unsuitable for guests with walking difficulties. Even though all sites visited are wheelchair-friendly, Mdina terrain is mostly cobblestones and might be uncomfortable for guests using a wheelchair. If wheelchair guests want to take part, they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and their wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made. If the call falls on a Saturday afternoon, the visit to the St. John’s Co-Cathedral will be external; guests will visit the National Museum. Conservative attire recommended for visiting places of religious importance. This tour is not available on Sunday calls.
    • THE NEOLITHIC TEMPLES & MARSAXLOKK
      BAY

      CULTURE AND HISTORY
        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

        • Adult price starting from49Price per person

        • Child price starting from 35Price per person

        MLT10

        The islands of Malta and the nearby Gozo are home to an intriguing set of eleven prehistoric monuments, seven of which are classed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely the marvellous Megalithic Temples of Malta. One of these fascinating sites of early engineering and worship forms the first stop on this half-day tour and will take you to the southeast of the island. These temples are among the oldest free-standing buildings ever found in the world – some pre-date the Egyptian pyramids – and make highly evocative representatives of a bygone age. You will then continue on to the pretty fishing village of Marsaxlokk, situated on the shores of Malta’s second-largest natural bay, to see the traditional, brightly coloured “luzzu” fishing boats. In keeping with a seafaring tradition that possibly goes back as far as the Phoenicians, all of these luzzi have a pair of eyes painted on the bow, perhaps to make sure they always know where they’re going. A panoramic drive through “Cottonera area” with a walking tour of the historic town of Vittoriosa – one of the three Historic Cities – comes next before reaching the port and your cruise ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
      • DOLPHIN EXPERIENCE

        NATURAL WONDERS
        • No guide available

        • Possibility of swimming

        • Limited seats

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

        • Adult price starting from162Price per person

        • Child price starting from 149Price per person

        MLT14

        Travelling with children? Look no further than our dolphin day, ideal older for kids and nature lovers alike. Leave the pier heading for the Marine Park where we will have a short talk on dolphin behaviours and learn how to interact with these gentle mammals. We will then proceed to the dolphin pool where you will meet and play with trained bottlenose dolphins for about 20 minutes. Free time in the Marine Park before returning to the vessel. Please note: guests must be good swimmers and in good physical condition in order to participate in this tour. Participants must be at least 8 years of age. Do not forget your towel and wear your swimsuit. Guests must sign a waiver before taking part in the tour. During autumn and winter calls, the duration of the tour will be 2.5 hours with no free time. You can book this tour only during your cruise.
      • POWERBOAT TRANSFER TO BLUE LAGOON

        SEA & SUN
        • Possibility of swimming

        • Limited seats

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          5 h

        • Adult price starting from59Price per person

        • Child price starting from 42Price per person

        MLT55

        Choose to spend a few hours in a natural paradise with turquoise, crystal waters. Soon after disembarking from your ship, you will embark on a powerboat to reach Comino island and the famous Blue Lagoon. Only 3.5 square kilometres, Comino is nearly car-free and, apart from one hotel, the island is virtually uninhabited. The island's main attraction is the Blue Lagoon which you will reach after an hour boat ride. In summer, this sheltered inlet of shimmering aquamarine water over white sand is very popular with day-trippers. You will have approx. 3 hours to spend at the lagoon, working on your tan, swimming or relaxing in the sun. Please note: this tour depends on weather conditions and runs from June to September. Participants must be good swimmers. There are some kiosks and lockers at the lagoon; guests may have the chance to rent deckchair and sun umbrellas. This tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests with limited mobility, back/neck problems, pregnant women or using a wheelchair. Please expect crowded site.
      • CAR WITH GUIDE

        SOMETHING SPECIAL
        • No guide available

        • Limited seats

        • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Easy

        • Duration
          4 h

        • Adult price starting from359Price per person

        • Child price starting from 359Price per person

        MLT33PV

        Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional guide and driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver, guide and gasoline included. The price does not include any entrance fees or meals and is per vehicle and not per passenger. If you want to set a customized itinerary and add entrance tickets to any of the tourist attractions, please contact your shorex excursion staff on the ship.
      • ESSENTIAL MALTA, LOCAL FAVOURS &
        SIGHTS

        SOMETHING SPECIAL
        • Tasting included

        • Limited seats

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          3:30 h

        • Adult price starting from65Price per person

        • Child price starting from 49Price per person

        MLT49

        This half-day roundup of Maltese essentials begins with a coach ride to the city of Birgu, also known as Vittoriosa. As one of Malta’s three historic cities, Birgu was the first place the Knights Hospitaller called home when the order moved to the island in 1530. Your walk through town will take you past such historical treasures as the inns of residence – called auberges – that were built by the Knights, the 17th-century Church of St. Lawrence and Fort St. Angelo, whose construction began in the 13th and continued until the late 17th century. You’ll then continue on by coach to the south of the island and Malta’s largest fishing village: Marsaxlokk. Enjoy exploring the quaint marketplace with its cafeterias and the luzzus in the harbour, colourful boats typically used in this area. A tasting session of Maltese delicacies ends the outing before the coach returns you to the ship. Please note: this tour includes some walking on cobblestone streets with some steps; it is not recommended for guests using a wheelchair.
      • GOZO ISLAND BY BOAT

        SOMETHING SPECIAL
        • Possibility of swimming

        • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

          Difficulty Level
          Strenuous

        • Duration
          6 h

        • Adult price starting from129Price per person

        • Child price starting from 99Price per person

        MLT28

        The second largest island in the Maltese archipelago is Gozo, which lies north of the main island and will be your destination on this mainly boat-based tour. Once you’re on board the powerboat, you’ll sail past Sliema’s urbanised coastline, the resort of Bu?ibba, St. Paul’s island, Mellie?a Bay, the caves of Comino Island and the crystal-clear waters of the beautiful Laguna en route to Gozo and M?arr Harbour. You’ll then get to check out some of Gozo’s breathtaking, unspoiled scenery and key landmarks – photo-worthy every one – such as the impressive Rotunda of Xewkija, the amazing cliffs at Sanap, the quaint Xlendi Bay, the natural limestone arch called the Azure Window and the saltwater lagoon known as the Inland Sea. Weather permitting, a swimming stop then follows at Hondoq Bay and, to finish off, a shopping break at the Gozo Crafts’ Centre. The return journey on the powerboat brings the outing to an end. Please note: as the tour involves a long period of walking, it is considered to be unsuitable for guests with limited mobility, back/neck problems, pregnant women or using a wheelchair. Guests are recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes and swimwear under their clothes as well as to bring high-factor sunscreen and towels. Jeeps on Gozo have no radio contact; the beach stop depends on the weather conditions and the location may change to suit. Should inclement weather prevail (rough seas), a minivan will transfer guests to the more sheltered north of the main island before boarding the powerboat and setting sail to Gozo, and vice versa. Guides are available only in English and Italian.
      • HARBOUR CRUISE & WINE TASTING TOUR

        SOMETHING SPECIAL
        • Tasting included

        • Limited seats

        • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Easy

        • Duration
          3:30 h

        • Adult price starting from49Price per person

        • Child price starting from 35Price per person

        MLT04

        To visit the island state of Malta, leave your ship and board a motorboat to embark on a relaxing sail along the scenic Maltese coastline, along the way passing by the lovely Cottonera area made up of Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa, which are collectively known as The Three Cities. Nearly opposite Cottonera lies the Maltese capital, Valletta, whose harbour you will approach via the water route. The city has retained much of its architectural heritage and one of its most iconic sights is Valletta waterfront, a marvel of 18th-century Baroque architecture that has been extensively restored. Do take your camera to capture awe-inspiring views of the waterfront, while also enjoying a wine-tasting session at this unique location. Before returning to the port, you will stop at a renowned jewellery for shopping. Please note: the feasibility of the excursion is subject to wind / sea conditions on the day of call. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair; there is a narrow gangway to have access to the boat.
      • JEEP TOUR

        SOMETHING SPECIAL
        • No guide available

        • Limited seats

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

        • Adult price starting from72Price per person

        • Child price starting from 52Price per person

        MLT12

        Get set to enjoy four hours of uninterrupted fun on a guided tour around the north of Malta by jeep. After leaving the ship and boarding the waiting vehicle, your first stop will be at G?adira Bay, near Mellie?a, to see the square-shaped St. Agatha’s Tower (outside), also called the Red Tower due to its striking colour, which was completed in the middle of the 17th century. After a chance to enjoy the superb views of the nearby Gozo and Comino islands from this historical spot, you will continue your drive along a scenic off-road route to Golden Sands Bay, a wonderful stretch of fine sandy beach. Then it’s on to the lovely Mtal?eb, with a photo stop on the way, and finally the walled city of Mdina – Malta’s one-time capital – before you return to the port and your ship. Please note: participants must be at least 4 years of age, provided that they can be properly seated and wearing a seatbelt. The safari leader will provide you with information only in English during the trip. Comfortable shoes and casual clothing recommended. This tour is not suitable for pregnant women, for guests with walking difficulties or with back or neck problems.
      • MINIVAN WITH GUIDE FOR 3 TO 6 PAX

        SOMETHING SPECIAL
        • No guide available

        • Limited seats

        • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Easy

        • Duration
          4 h

        • Adult price starting from419Price per person

        • Child price starting from 419Price per person

        MLT34PV

        Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional guide and driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver, guide and gasoline included. The price does not include any entrance fees or meals and is per vehicle and not per passenger. If you want to set a customized itinerary and add entrance tickets to any of the tourist attractions, please contact your shorex excursion staff on the ship. Larger vans can be arrangeg upon request.

      The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
      Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
       
      Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

      Malta

      Thousands of years of history
      Thousands of years of history

      Malta has been a contended land for as many as 10,000 years and is located in the middle of the Mediterranean where past and present coexist in harmony.

      This archipelago-state is formed by three main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. The oldest human settlements, dating back to the Neolithic age, were located north of Birzebbugia, in Ghar Dalam, where the so-called Dark Cave is found. A location that, instead, combines Christian tradition, architecture and curios is Mosta where one can visit the church of Santa Maria Assunta, that has one of the largest domes in the world.

      A vacation in Malta should also include an excursion to the centre of the island, to the town of Mdina, the ‘silent’ or ‘notable’ city, protected by tall walls, with its narrow alleys lined with crafts shops, little restaurants and small shops. From here you have the best view in the whole island.

      To learn about Malta’s prehistory, you should go south, towards he hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, in Paola:this is an underground construction on three levels dug out of the rock between the 4th and 3rd millennium B.C., and used as a shrine and burial ground, or you can chose to visit one of the seven megalithic temples erected between   Malta and Gozo. In Gozo’s main town, Rabat, one can visit the strongly fortified citadel that towers 150m above the town.