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Our Malta Cruise Resurrected

September 7 - 21, 2024

May 26, 2023

Our Maltese connection, John deGiorgio, through his Sicilian Rotary contacts, has introduced us to the agency representing Dufour Yachts in Sicily. They have some quite new boats that are individually owned and available for charter. (the active list is available on this link. There is a brochure describing some of the boats posted to the right).

 The two-week cruise would start in the North of Sicily, possibly take in the light show from the active volcano Stromboli on the way to Taormina, home of the ancient Greco-­Roman Teatro Antico. Next, a tour of Mt Etna before sailing to the beautiful Greek colonial city of Siracusa with marble streets and fabulous architecture in its Ortigia district. From there, we cross to the west end of Malta where you can anchor in the Blue Lagoon on Comino and visit the adjacent fortress town of  Gozo, learning of its history during  Bonapart’s invasion. Then it’s a short hop to Valetta, the fabulous walled city established in the 1500s by the Knights of St. John. It’s known for museums, palaces, grand churches, its incredible history fighting off Suliman and its unbelievable endurance during the Second World War siege.

The boats must be returned to Marina di Ragusa on the South East corner of Sicily by the final Thursday morning so they can be in their home ports Friday evening. The plan would have Skippers and a crewmember overnight the boats back to Ragusa (8 hrs) Wednesday night as the balance of their crew stay in hotels and tour Valetta. Skippers would return by high-speed catamaran (2hrs ) the next day.

It's a bit different from our original plan, but I think it is manageable. The sites are very interesting. Ann Kolker had suggested we try starting in Sicily in the fall, but the only boats we could identify then were smaller catamarans.

The cost is a bit (~15%)  higher than the Maltese quote for a similar but older boat, but it includes

  1.  a support boat to correct any problems that might arise.
  2. An extras package including cleaning of the boat, linens and towels, outboard engine and dinghy, gas bottles, first water fill, cushions for the deck, check-in and check-out procedures
  3. Some of the boats are only available with a skipper. 
  4. Prices are predicated on a minimum of 10 charters.

Please let me know your reaction to the plan. We have sorted out booking deposit and security deposit terms with the charter company. They are listed at the bottom of the boat list. We are just waiting for a sample contract and confirmation of collection charges due when we return of boats to Marina de Ragusa. 

Les Crane CCAMalta24@gmail.com 

A possible itinerary follows.

Miles    Date                 Location

            Sat Sept 7         Porto Rosa        Dock Party for boats based there.

36        Sun                  Lipari for lunch, raft up off Stromboli for the light show overnight if weather                                                                  permits

56        Mon                 Taormina        Tour the ancient Roman town and coliseum. Join boats from                                                                      other start points

            Tues                 Taormina        Opening Party

            Wed                                          Tour Mt Etna

44        Thurs                Siracusa

            Friday                                       Tour ancient Greek city, Dinner Party

            Sat                                           Tour Notto, Ragusa (hill towns in the interior)

            Sunday                                     Head to Portopalo (22 mi) or directly to Comino (78 mi)

78        Monday            Comino /Gozo   Anchor in Blue Lagoon or in Gozo marina

            Tuesday            Gozo                Party

10        Wed                  Valetta              Wed night Skippers return boats to Sicily (50 miles)

            Thursday                                  Tour Valetta - Knights Hospitaller, WW2 Defenses

            Friday                                       AM Tour Cathedral - PM Closing Dinner

224       Total


4/24 Update

Six of the boats available in Porto Rosa have been circled and three members boats have reported they plan to join.