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Grimaldi ferries – a new route from Malta to Sicily (and beyond…)

In a further challenge to the Virtu ferries “monopoly”, Grimaldi ferries has launched a new service from Malta to Augusta, Sicily. Interestingly, after a stopover in Augusta, you can then head on to Salerno in mainland Italy, a pleasant if touristy town near the beautiful Amalfi coast.


The service is provided in Malta through the reputable Cruise and Travel Group (www.cruiseandtravel.com.mt). Full details can be found here.

Ferries sail reasonably frequently, leaving Malta on Sat, Mon and Weds from 27 June to 5 Sep, and Sat and Mon from 15 Sep to 30 Dec. No service is offered outside of these dates, however (and you’ll notice there is a slightly odd 10 day hiatus between 5 and 10 September).

Sailing time between Sicily and Malta is 5-6 hours, and a full schedule is available here.

As you can see, this new service offers some very interesting options. For example, trips available include:

A long weekend in Sicily

  • Dep Malta Sat 1200
  • Arr Augusta Sat 1800
  • Dep Augusta Mon/Weds 0900
  • Arr Malta Mon/Weds 1400

A week in Salerno

  • Dep Malta Sat 1200
  • Arr Augusta Sat 1800
  • Dep Augusta Sat 2359
  • Arr Salerno Sun 1030

[Stay a week]

  • Dep Salerno Sun 1930
  • Arr Augusta Mon 0600
  • Dep Augusta Mon 0900
  • Arr Malta Mon 1400

What about the price?

Prices are not cheap, and vary heavily in what you get for your Euro depending on where and when you are going. Below is a summary of the headline prices:

  • Adult return to Sicily: €119 (high season) or €87 (low season)
  • Adult return to Salerno (via Sicily): €135 (high season) or €118 (low season)
  • Children aged 4-12 are a little over 50% of the above, 0-3s go free.
  • A car return to Sicily is €128 (high season) or €100 (low season) on top of the passenger fare, while a car return to Salerno is €240 (high) or €200 (low).

You can also book accommodation on all routes, full details of which are available here.

By way of example, prices break down as follows:

2 adult + 1 car return to Augusta, Sicily*:

  • High season: €366
  • Low season: €274

2 adult, 1 car return to Salerno, Italy with internal overnight cabin*:

  • High season: €702
  • Low season: €564

*Note that the overnight cabin sleeps up to 4, so although our example was limited to 2 adults, you will get better value on accommodation if you travel with 3 or 4. There is also a limited “early booking discount”: according to the website, if you book more than 30 days in advance, you will receive an additional saving of 30% on car transportation costs and accommodation.

Given the fairly lengthy sailing times, it does seem that the best option available on this new route is the Salerno overnighter, where you can simply relax in a (hopefully 30% discounted) cabin and enjoy the journey. A six hour trip to Sicily for a weekend may be a little too much for many, particularly with the 2 hour Virtu Ferries alternative.

The opening of this route is another interesting development in the connection of Malta to Italy. Coming very soon after the announcement of flights from Malta to Comiso in South Eastern Sicily, it is a clear challenge to the dominance of this route by Virtu Ferries. While prices on this new route are not cheap, competition on the Malta-Sicily ferry route is bound to put pressure on prices, to the benefit of the consumer. The availability of a passenger ferry route from Malta to mainland Italy is also very welcome. All in all, excellent news for the Maltese traveller.


  1. brenda pegg says:


    • Maltapoints says:

      Hi Brenda. No idea. I’d assume it wasn’t making any/enough money.

      Don’t forget that Virtu Ferries remains a sea option to Sicily, and (at the moment) their prices are reasonable.

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