|Costa Favolosa. Image: Ian Pace|
Nearly 4,000 cruise passengers lost their day trip to Malta over the weekend, after strong winds buffeting Malta’s Grand Harbour forced the Captain of the Costa Favolosa to abort the vessel’s visit to Malta.
Captain Giulio Valestra decided not to risk the safety of passengers and crew and headed to the Sicilian coast after spending 45 minutes outside the Grand Harbour’s breakwater, with passengers then spending the day cruising before docking at Catania that afternoon.
Malta Maritime Pilots Cooperation chief pilot Jesmond Mifsud, said that the redirection to another port was not common adding that the pilots often operated in such weather and in fact had seen worse.
He said that the pilot advised the captain to keep tug boats on standby, however, after consulting with the owners, Costa Crociere, the decision not to enter Grand Harbour was made and Costa Favolosa sailed to the next port on the itinerary.
The 150 passengers who were due to disembark in Malta, were transferred from Malta on a chartered aircraft and those due to board in Malta were flown to Catania.