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Gozo welcomes record number of visitors in 2019

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A record number of people visited Gozo in 2019, according to official figures.

The number of ferry passengers carried by Gozo Channel stood at an impressive 5.9 million last year – an increase of nearly 3 per cent on 2018.

The ferry operator also saw a 7.4 per cent rise in the number of cars, vans and lorries crossing between Cirkewwa in Malta and Mgarr Harbour in Gozo.

In total, more than 1.7 million vehicles used the Gozo Channel ferries in 2019.

The Office for National Statistics in Valletta said the highest number of ferry trips was in August when the ships crossed the channel an incredible 2,800 times in a single month.

In fact, August was by far the busiest month for Gozo Channel with almost 650,000 passengers catching the ferry.

Gozo Channel operates four ships between the islands – Gaudos, Malita, Ta’ Pinu and Nikolaus.

The direct ferry services run between Malta and Gozo around the clock, seven days a week, with trips departing every 45 minutes or so.

How to get to Gozo

Head for the ferry terminal at Cirkewwa. It’s less than a 10-minute drive from the centre of Mellieha and is well signposted.

Several buses operated by Malta Public Transport also serve Cirkewwa. They include:

X1 from Malta Airport via Marsa and Pembroke

41 from Valletta via Msida and Birkirkara

42 from Valletta via Mosta and Hamrun

101 from Mgarr via Mellieha

221 from Bugibba via Xemxija

222 from Sliema via St Julian’s, St Paul’s Bay and Mellieha

Tips for taking the ferry

The trip from Malta to Gozo takes less than 25 minutes.

If you’re a foot passenger, simply board the ship through the Cirkewwa terminal building.

If you’re driving to Gozo, follow the signs to the ferry queue.

You don’t need to buy a ticket to board the ferry in Malta, you pay the fare on the return trip when you leave Gozo.

The standard fare for a round trip is €4.65 for passengers or €15.70 if you take a car.

Gozo residents benefit from a discount, with fares of €1.15 for passengers and €8.15 for drivers.

There’s a cafeteria on board, serving a range of drinks and snacks as well as a newsagent and stationery shop.

Keep your camera or smartphone handy as the crossing offers some seriously gorgeous views of Comino Tower, the world-famous Blue Lagoon and the cliffs of Gozo.

You can check the Gozo Channel timetable HERE.

Photos: Kieran Litoux, Ivan Jokić and Miri II

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