cruise

A total of 21 cruise liners ported in Malta during the first three months of 2023. While that’s two fewer cruise liners than during the first quarter of 2022, the total number of passengers more than doubled.

Malta welcomed 71,986 cruise liner passengers between January and March of 2023, demonstrating a strong recovery with figures just below the pre-COVID-19 number of arrivals in 2019 (78,051).

On average, every vessel that berthed in Malta carried 3,428 passengers, which is 2,332 more than the previous year.

Passengers from EU countries comprised 72.6 per cent of total traffic. The major markets were Italy, accounting for 24.1 per cent of total passengers, followed by Germany with 18.4 per cent.

The total number of passengers from non-EU countries stood at 19,744, of whom 32.1 per cent came from the UK and 13.9 per cent came from the US.

On a gender basis, female passengers made up 53.2 per cent of the total.

The largest share of passengers fell within the 40-59 age bracket (34.1 per cent) and was followed by those between 60 and 79 years old (22.5 per cent).

Cruise liner figures before, during, and after the pandemic

Prior to the pandemic, during the first quarter of the year, Malta received 69,742 passengers in 2018, and a record high of 78,051 in 2019.

Before the pandemic reached Malta’s shores in 2020, during the first two months of the year, the number of passengers was relatively close to those witnessed in 2019. Were it not for the pandemic, it may have hit another record high.

During the pandemic, the number of passengers received during the first three months of 2021 was almost a tenth of the number of 2019.

In 2022, the number of arrivals started recovering, reaching almost a third of the record high witnessed in 2019. By the end of the year, the total number of passengers Malta received in 2022 was 64 per cent of the total in 2019.

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