Virtu Ferries is the leading operator in Malta, making regular connections between Catania and Pozzallo on Sicily, and Valletta, the historically rich Maltese capital.
The business is owned by Virtu Holdings, a conglomerate of shipping companies which was established in 1945, incorporating Virtu Ferries in 1988. Shortly after World War II, the parent company was responsible for clearing Maltese harbours of sunken vessels and derelict ships; today, Virtu Ferries specialises in fast and reliable links between Sicilian cities and Malta, with the shortest available route lasting an hour and forty five minutes.
In 1989, the first high-speed ferry was commissioned: San Frangisk, a thirty five-metre-long vessel built in Norway, which was gradually followed by four more high-tech ferries over the years. The second addition to the fleet was San Gwann, built in 2001, then two larger ferries called Jean de la Valette and Maria Dolores were introduced a few years after, accommodating large numbers of both foot passengers and vehicles.
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