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Contract awarded for Grand Harbour, Marsamxett ferry services

Date: 16/10/2012

Transport Malta has signed a contract with Marsamxetto Steamferry Services for the provision of scheduled ferry services in Grand Harbour and Marsamxett.

The eight-year contract was concluded after a call for tenders.

Services will be operated simultanously in both harbours. The service in Marsamxett will commence immediately while the service in Grand Harbour will start with  the commissioning of the Barrakka lift - which is expected before the end of the year.

"The main objective of this service contract is to ensure a reliable maritime transport which is operated on a fixed time schedule, offered at a regulated price and with a level of service aimed at stimulating its further increase in popularity," Transport Malta said.

The operator is obliged to operate the service all year round, with departures operating at a maximum interval of thirty minutes from each landing place, within a minimum stipulated schedule as follows in both ports:

Winter Schedule:

Monday to Saturday: 7 a.m. till 6 p.m.

Sundays and Public Holidays: 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.

Summer Schedule:

Monday to Saturday: 7 a.m. till 7 p.m.

Sundays and Public Holidays: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The maximum fares that can be charged according to this agreement are detailed in the table below.

     Type of Ticket ( Per Trip One Way)

Euro (€)

     Ticket for Adults


     Children up to twelve (12) years of age


     Karta Anzjan and Blue Badge Holders




     Type of Ticket (Return)

Euro (€)

     Ticket for Adults


     Children up to twelve (12) years


     Karta Anzjan and Blue Badge Holders




     Special Rates

Euro (€)

     Weekly Pass valid for seven (7) consecutive  weekdays unrestricted use



The regulated tariffs can only increase once every three years with an increase that is limited to the inflationary costs associated with providing the service (including the increase in the cost of fuel). Such increase must be approved by Transport Malta.

The operator shall enjoy exclusive use of strategic landing places and shall contribute a total of €300,000 of its revenue, over the whole period, to the Authority.

The Operator has an obligation to invest in two new ferry vessels within 12 months from signing. While initially operating with existing vessels, the Operator shall provide substitute/relief vessels when the nominated vessels are not available due to breakdowns, damage or planned maintenance. Additional services over and above the minimum services shall be provided to cover those occasions when there is an increase in demand including during national holidays and events.

Among other requirements, the operator had to employ crews who are  fluent in both Maltese and English and who must wear a uniform and visible identification. The operator is also obliged to maintain a website providing on-line information, timetables and an early warning to inform the general public of any disruptions and changes to the services due to bad weather. 

Source: Times of Malta

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