Upon meeting your professional, English speaking guide outside your Valletta cruise terminal, you will embark on a journey back in time as you board a vintage bus from the 1920's to the Three Cities of Malta. They can rightly claim to be the cradle of Maltese history, as Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua have provided a home and fortress to almost every people who settled on the Islands. Their harbor inlets have been in use since Phoenician times; the docks always providing a living for local people, but also leaving them vulnerable when Malta's rulers were at war. As the first home to the Knights of St. John, the Three Cities' palaces, churches, forts, and bastions are far older than Valletta's. Making your way to the Three Cities, you will first visit Cospicua, an area inhabited since the Neolithic era, built and fortified by the Knights of Malta. In 1732, Grand Master Marc' Antonio Zondadari officially proclaimed it a city.
Next is Vittoriosa, ideally situated for safe anchorage and over time it has developed a very long history with maritime, mercantile and military activities. Many tourist attractions exist here including the former palace of the General of the Galleys and the Order of St. John's treasury. During the first decade of the 21st century, they were refurbished and are now home to a Casino and the Malta Maritime Museum.
Lastly, you will visit Senglea, joined by a land bridge to Cospicua resulting in a peninsular shape. This area was used primarily as a hunting ground but is also home to some great architectural feats. St. Julian's Church was founded in 1311 while the foundation for Fort St. Michael was laid in 1552. For several centuries the area was known as the Island of St. Julian or Island of Saint Michael, but in the 1550's was given city status by Grand Master Claude De La Sengle and was named after him.
This two-hour excursion will return you to your Valletta cruise terminal where you may continue to explore at your own expense.
Get to know the Three Cities of Malta in a unique way, on board a vintage open-air bus! Admire the architecture of Vittoriosa, Cospicua, and Senglea, bring your camera, there would be several photo stops.