Marsamxett Harbour : Msida Marina – updates from Cruisers
This is a compilation of two reports, one from 2017 and the other from 2014.
Published 7 years ago, updated 5 years ago
We spent a few months in Msida Marina, Malta this winter (Dec 2016 till March 2017).
This once was a very popular winter spot for liveaboards before the Sicilian marinas shot up. Now it’s a quiet place with only five liveaboards here this year, plus a few that stayed for some weeks as they passed by.
We are berthed on the breakwater, our choice because we have a cat on board and there is a “playground” for him ( i.e. the rocks and a few other cats for him to play with). It also means he won’t bother jumping on other people’s boats, which we try to discourage. Not easy when some will encourage him with food!
We could have been in the Marina on the pontoon with locked gates, making it hard for anyone who hasn’t got a key to enter the pontoon, so the security (in the marina) is very good.
The walk to the showers and toilets are a bit of a walk for us being berthed on the breakwater, but there hasn’t been a time that they weren’t clean and tidy with plenty of hot water. There is also a washing machine and dryer.
The Marina staff are very friendly and helpful, three or four times a day they can be seen walking around and checking boats. The two times we had a power cut because of weather conditions, the staff were quick to put things right.
The Gala supermarket is a 10-minute walk. Local food stores, butchers, hardware stores etc. are all walking distance. Lidl is a 15 min walk. There a local chandler a five-minute walk from the Marina and nine other Chandlers about a 10 min walk near Manuel Island. There is not much you couldn’t get here.
Msida, for anyone who doesn’t know Malta, is in the heart of the island. Just a 15 min bus ride and you’re in Valletta and from there you can get buses to anywhere on the island. So transport links are good. It’s a shame the old Maltese buses are now long gone, but the service now is much better with buses running about every fifteen minutes, although they can be crowded at times.
The airport is a 20 Euros taxi ride away and there are flights to all over Europe. Ryanair and EasyJet fly to Malta and air rates are very good as long as you book in advance.
This has made a nice change for us from the crowded marinas of Licata and Ragusa in Sicily, both of which we have spent quite a few winters in over the years.
The prices are higher here then the Sicilian Marinas, but there are discounts if you stay longer and if you’re a member of the CA, so for the likes of us who don’t spend six months in a Marina over the winter, it doesn’t work out too bad.
Our contract was for three months – 10/12 to 10/3 – and with the discount, it was 1090 Euros for a 12.5 mts yacht.
We had two concerns when we arrived. First, the traffic as there is plenty around here, and second the weather, when the Gregale blows. Within a week, however, the traffic was no longer noticeable. As for the weather – we have had some big blows, but the Marina is well sheltered and with two bow lines there has not been a problem.
Would we come again? Yes, as it happens we will probably return next year.
If you want a nice little quiet place to winter for some months, this could be just the place.
From Mario Borg, SY Maltest Falcon
I just received some updated information from the largest marina in Malta, Creek Developments PLC.
All the pontoons have been replaced, washroom and toilets are complete, a laundry service is available but a coin laundry should be in place by the fall of this year. The washroom is yet not shown on the marina map but they are available near the break wall at the entrance.
They will welcome foreign yachts that want to winter in Malta with some incentives: 5% discount for a 3-month booking and further discounts for longer stays. Electricity is metered at 0.35/KwH and water is at 4.50/ton (1000L).
In our opinion Malta has a lot to offer:
1) It is a wonderful place to visit because of all the history in a small area dating back 5000 years.
2) The climate is subtropical with very mild winters.
3) As far as boating is concerned there is no place like it in the central Med for obtaining parts and services. Plus haul-out facilities at very reasonable prices.
4) Everyone speaks English and the locals are friendly and always ready to help.
5) Public transportation is frequent to most places and also one of the cheapest in Europe.
6) The cost of living is about 25% cheaper than most EU countries.
My wife and I love the location of this marina close to all amenities and a short walk to all the major chandleries in Malta. Contact them for booking a slip.
Sarah Gauci Carlton
Creek Developments plc
53/1, Ta’Xbiex Seafront,
Msida, MSD 1515, Malta
T: +356 2133 7049
M: +356 7933 7149
I also wrote on noonsite about Malta in an earlier report with much more detail.