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    Virtu Ferries Ltd.

    Virtu Passenger Term Xatt l-Ghassara tal-Gheneb , MRS 1917 MRS 1917, /, Malta

    Business Details

    "Featured Maltese Shipowners"

    Virtu Holdings is a conglomerate of shipping companies which, over time, have diversified their interests into other activities. These include maritime ones such as bunkering and naval management, tourism, real estate and import.

    The main activity of the company consists in owning, administering and managing ferries for high-speed cars and passengers.


    Virtu Holdings saw its origins in 1945 as a company owner of ships managing cargo ships between the ports of the Mediterranean and those of Northern Europe. Currently the main activity consists in owning and managing ferries for high-speed cars and passengers on various routes, including Malta-Sicily and some ports of the Adriatic. Other maritime services include bunkering and naval management.

    A number of other interests include the real estate sector with a portfolio of commercial, industrial and residential properties in some of the island's excellent locations and a shareholding in one of Malta's leading five-star hotels.


    The parent company was founded as a company owning ships in 1945, subsequently developing different interests. Virtu Holdings was incorporated in 2002 to take over all the major maritime activities, freeing up other interests.

    The first ships of the company operated a scheduled service between Malta and the ports of Northern Europe, followed by transport services with non-regular cargo ships. In the immediate post World War II the company was responsible for the removal of wrecks and ships sunk in Maltese ports and in national waters; a rescue operation undertaken on behalf of the British government over a period of fifteen years.

    In the early '80s, in companies with Italian and Norwegian interests, as Virtu Naval Services, the company owned and managed a fleet of oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and traded in oil, in addition to the rescue of non-specific products resulting from war accidents . The company was the operator of the Dubai Dry Docks Tank Cleaning Facilities on behalf of the Government of Dubai.

    Currently, the company's main marine activities include Virtu Ferries, established in 1988, which operates a Malta-Sicily line service for passengers and vehicles all year round. Venezia Lines, established in 2003, operates a seasonal passenger service between Venice and the Adriatic ports in Croatia and Slovenia as well as the car and passenger ferry between Bari in Italy and Durres in Albania. The company carries over 350,000 passengers and 30,000 cars each year.

    In 1989 Virtu Ferries commissioned the Norwegian manufacturers Brodrene Aa. the construction of the first high-speed ship, the San Frangisk, with a capacity of 310 passengers. A second ship, the San Gwann (capacity 427 passengers and 22 vehicles) was delivered by the Norwegian company Fjellstrand As of Norway in 2001. Maria Dolores, carrying 600 passengers, 35 vehicles and 95 meters of rolling cargo has become part of the company in 2006, through the Austal Ships manufacturers of Western Australia. In August 2010, the Jean de la Valette (800 passengers, 45 vehicles and 342 meters of rolling cargo) were commissioned to the same builders.

    In 2002, Virtu Holdings, together with other Maltese partners, started a Malta and Central Mediterranean offshore bunkering service. Virtu Holdings owns 25% of The Island Bunker Oils Group of Companies, a leading provider of offshore bunkering services. This company has a fleet of five tankers and in 2005 it was awarded by the European Maritime Safety Agency the first of two contracts as a support vessel for recovery in case of oil spills.

    All vessels fly the Maltese flag and are managed by the company's marine technical department, TankshipManagement Ltd., a 100% owned subsidiary of Virtu Holdings.


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    Virtu Passenger Term Xatt l-Ghassara tal-Gheneb , MRS 1917 MRS 1917, /, Malta

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