Marsamxett Harbour

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Revision as of 19:58, 7 June 2011

Marsamxett Harbour (Port of entry)

Small info.png Coords: 35°53.97′N, 14°30.24′E
Chartlet: Chartlet
Gallery: Photos

Satellite View of Marsamxett
Click for larger view


Marsamxett Harbour form Manoel Island
Click for larger view

Marsamxett Harbour is the main yachting harbour in Malta though, with the opening of Camper & Nicholsons marina in Grand Harbour, yachtsmen have a choice of where to berth. Marsamxett Harbour has the advantage in that it is close to the busy tourist area of Sliema, and St. Julian's and the nightlife district of Paceville are not so far away. Marsamxett Harbour is also the focus of most of the many yacht chandleries in Malta.

Sliema is the area mainly on the north side of this harbour. At the head of Lazaretto Creek is Gzira. Between Lazaretto Creek and Msida Creek is Ta'Xbiex. (The letter X is generally pronounced 'sh' in Maltese.) Msida is the area at the head of Msida Creek. There is no obvious distinction between these areas, which have all merged together over the years.


See Malta.

Radio Nets

See Malta.

Local Weather

Marsamxett is exposed to the NE Gregale. When it blows there can be a strong surge, or worse, and yachts can drag their anchors or moorings. The most sheltered area is generally Msida Creek, though even here behind the breakwater there will be a notable surge.

See also Malta.

Approach and Navigation

Refer to official charts and publications.

Note that there may be ships anchored off near the harbor entrance. Within the harbour there are numerous mooring buoys of all sizes, some occupied, some not.

Check-in facilities

If you are entering Malta, the authorities may direct you to go side-to the wall between the breakwater and the first pontoons of Msida Marina where you can clear customs. Subject to weather conditions being suitable, this is generally practical for yachts up to about 15 metres LOA.

See also Arrival/Departure procedures for Malta.

The berthing choices are: the well run Msida Marina, mooring stern or bow-to on Lazaretto Creek along the Sliema quey, or anchoring off near the Manoel Island. Up to date information is available from the Malta Maritime Authority, telephone +356 21 33 28 00

Marinas & other berthing facilities

  • Msida Marina. A floating pontoon marina in Marsamxett harbour. Now privately run.
  • Msida Breakwater. Stern or bow to mooring with tailed lines to the breakwater. Electricity and water points. No showers or toilets. Controlled by Malta Maritime Authority. Note that the MMA office in the corner of the nearby Royal Malta Yacht Club is closed since February 2011.
  • Lazaretto Quay. There are laid moorings and if you are lucky you will be directed to a berth with one. Go stern-to. If you have to anchor be aware of a very fouled bottom. Controlled by Malta Maritime Authority. Warning: Boats on this quay may be subject to a strong surge during periods of NE winds. Strong mooring lines and old car tyres are useful.
  • Manoel Island Marina. A marina in Marsamxett harbour on the south side of Manoel Island offering floating pontoon berths for smaller berths and stern to the quay berths for vessels up to 80 metres.
Lazaretto Creek and Manoel Island Marina


Lazaretto Creek

Chart of Lazarretto Creek
Click for larger view

Lazaretto Creek is very crowded with private moorings and it is unlikely you will find space to anchor.

It is generally accepted that when no berths are readily available, newly arrived yachts may anchor for a day or so in the area between Lazaretto Creek and Msida Creek while waiting for a berth to become available.

Warning: When the NE wind blows, the dreaded Gregale will cause a very uncomfortable and possibly dangerous swell here.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores & Facilities

There are numerous chandleries around the streets of Gzira, Ta'Xbiex and Msida.


  • There are a number of established sailmakers, canvas workers, rigging companies, etc in the area.
  • Various trades people (carpenters, sailmakers, etc.) may come by offering their services. Beware that the skills of some of these people may not be all that you would like. It is best to ask around for advice from other yachtsmen in the area.
  • Shipyards on Manoel Island.
Shell fuel barge in Marsamxett harbour

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

  • Fuel - Diesel tankers deliver along the quay at Lazaretto Creek and in the marinas. Diesel is also available from the Shell diesel fuel barge in Marsamxett harbour, on the port side when heading from the harbour entrance to Msida Creek.
  • Petrol - From the petrol station on Sliema water front by the bridge to Manoel Island. There are two more petrol stations on Triq Testaferrata.
  • Water - Along the quay at Lazaretto Creek and on the pontoons in the marinas.
  • Electricity - As for water. Standard 230v European supply. Domestic plugs in Malta are usually of the British 13A 3 rectangular pin type.

Tourism and Things to do Ashore


Fishing Boats in Sliema
Click for larger view

Walk along the delightful waterfront of Sliema and Gżira.

See also Malta.


There is a laundry on Triq (Street) Testaferrata. Its on the left side as you start to head up the hill away from Lazaretto Creek. Open mornings only. If laundry is taken early enough it will generally be ready for collection the same day.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Gala Supermarket is located on Triq (Street) Testaferrata. Its on the left side further up the hill from the laundry. Not always easily spotted by a newcomer, it is above a car showroom. Access is either by an escalator inside the car showroom, or via a door in the side street. Basement parking is available. Delivery to yachts is available.


  • There are numerous bars, cafes and restaurants along Sliema waterfont, all very touristy.
  • On Ta'Xbiex waterfront close to Msida breakwater are Irrera and Guze restaurants. There is also a restaurant in the Black Pearl, an old wooden two masted vessel now permanently ashore at the root of the breakwater.
  • Very good Maltese food can be had at the Il Meril restaurant (+33 2172 0942 0265) located at the foot of St. Vincent Street in Sliema.


  • Irrera and the Black Pearl have wi-fi.
  • Vodafone have a small shop in Sliema where 3G SIM cards with or without dongles can be bought. Online pre-paid rates are relatively cheap for the Med and time can be bought by the day, week or month.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

  • Available along the esplanade at Sliema.
  • AVIS have their base by Msida roundabout. Not immediately obvious from the outside, but check the skyline as there is a large AVIS sign on top of the building.

Garbage Disposal

Bins along the esplanade.


  • There are frequent buses running along the Sliema / Gzira waterfront.
  • There is a regular small ferry running between Sliema waterfront and Valletta. Cost is low and is a pleasant alternative to the bus. Note that the ferry does not run during strong NE winds.

Routes/Passages To/From

Malta is 412 nM form Cythera and 383 nM from Pylos in Greece. It is also 364 nM from Cagliari, Sardinia and about 85 nM from Lampedusa in Italy.

Cruiser's Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forum Discussions

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

External Links

References & Publications

See Malta.

Last Visited & Details Checked (and updated here)

Personal Notes

Personal experiences?


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