Even though catching a bus in Malta is an experience it self, nothing can beat travelling to Valletta by ordinary ferry that leaves every half hour from Sliema Ferries, at the end of the Strand. The service is quick (10 minutes or so) and cheap (0,35 Lm). Also, you have a good view over both Valletta and Sliema from the water (in case you can't afford those expensive harbour cruises).
The only drawback is that the last ferry from Valletta only returns at 6 PM.
The fastest and most scenic route from Sliema and Valletta (and back) is across the harbor by ferry. We were staying in Saint Julian’s and walked to Sliema along the coastal promenade (it took about 30 minutes) and then cut through some side streets to the edge of the harbor. It was a rather busy area with many sightseeing buses trying to get you to sign up, lots of construction, and cars and buses on the roads.
We found the place where the ferry would dock (we asked a local where it was but as we got closer, it was pretty clearly marked). Under the white umbrella was the ticket seller where we purchased two round-trip tickets that cost us €2,80 each (2012 pricing). The ferry runs every 30 minutes and we only had to wait a few minutes before we saw the boat coming towards us.
On our way over to Valletta, we took a seat on the top deck which provided a spectacular view of the harbor and the walled city of Valletta. On our way back, the ferry had closed off the upper deck, but we didn’t mind as the view was just as good from below – I looked backwards at the city and the lighting for photos was perfect.
The ferry takes you past the Manoel Island which contains Fort Manoel and docks up under the walls of Valletta. Of course, that means that you now need to walk UP to the city, but it wasn’t that difficult a climb. Once at the top, you are within the city walls and can continue on to enjoy a walking tour of all that Valletta has to offer.
We were told by our hotel that the ferry runs most days, but it is weather dependent. If the winds are too strong, then the ferry cannot go. In that case, you will probably need to take the bus or a taxi (you could walk around the harbor, but it is a long way).
We took the ferry from Sliema to Valletta. We could have stayed on the bus and gotten to Valletta that way, but we wanted to arrive by water, especially as the views of Valletta as you approach this way are great, and it's a lot, lot cooler than the bus!
Fares were 75c each way.
If you come by car and want to stay out of the Valletta traffic jam, park at Sliema and take the ferry from there.
Marsamxetto Ferry Service
On weekdays from 7.30AM - 5.45PM [6.15PM]
Sundays & holidays: 7.30AM - 4.15PM
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Captain Morgan has a ferry service to La valletta. The crossing takes only 5 minutes and the price (June 2010) was 93 cents one way.
From 1st October to 30th April the ferry leaves hourly (on the hour) from 8 am to 10 pm, then every 30 minutes until 4.40 pm. The last crossing is then at 5.30 pm. From 1st May to 30th September there’s an earlier crossing at 7.30 am and a later one at 6 pm. Not all crossings take place on Sunday and during public holidays, so you’d better cross-check my info.
Return from La valletta is at 15 ad 45 minutes past the hour.
We were planning to go one day from Sliema to Valletta or other way around with the ferry. BUt at those 8 days we spent at the Malta, we only saw the ferry going coupple of times. Even if it seemd very calm, and it should be going according the timetable, it didn´t! So don´t count on it, it it isn´t very very calm!! We waited many times at the harbour and sea was very peaceful, but when we asked the locals, they said it wont go.
Take a ferry from Valletta seafront down passed Old Bakey Street down to the seafront - you will see the blue ferry. I think the cost is 1.86 Euros. This is a nice experience because you get to cross over from Sliema to Valletta and vice versa. In bad weather usually the ferry does not work. This is ideal if the buses are full up or if there is a big event like Carnival in Valletta. This service is offered 7 days a week.
Please see attached the schedule of the times
For further information please contact The Marsamxetto Steamferry Services Ltd.
From other countries - by plain, Med cruise ships or Virtu Ferries boat from Sicily.
The best - walk! and only walk! If you come by car to Valletta - park the car outside the city and walk!!