Getting Ready to Boat in Malta

If you're dreaming of cruising the crystal-clear waters around Malta in your own boat or jetski, there's one thing you absolutely need: the nautical license. And trust me, there's no better place to get yours than at the iconic Laguna Marina.

It was at Laguna Marina, with its calm waters and expert instructors, that I earned my nautical license – a prerequisite for anyone wanting to captain a vessel in Maltese waters. Trust me, there's no better classroom than this historic marina, where you're surrounded by towering bastions, centuries-old architecture, and the constant hum of the maritime scene, from sailing yachts to the cruise monsters, from traditional maltese fishing boats to ultra-modern superyachts.

Why a Nautical License in Malta?

In Malta, you need a nautical license to operate any vessel with a combined horsepower of 30HP or more. So it's a legal requirement, but it's also important for safety on the water and making sure that the driver of a vessel (you) has the knowledge and skills to navigate the sea responsibly. To add, the maltese waters have one of the highest maritime density, but also a very low number of accidents, at least to my knowledge. 

The Spotlight: Laguna Marina

The location! Well, let's just say it's hard to beat. Laguna Marina is located in the picturesque Valletta Harbour, surrounded by stunning natural beauty. It's the perfect place to learn and practice your boating skills, mostly calm waters and breathtaking views.

View from Laguna Marina to the three cities

First off, the team is incredibly warm and welcoming. Everyone I met is eager to share knowledge and experiences, helping with those more complicated knots, and making it an awesome place to learn and make new buddies. 

The facilities are also top-notch, quite new I'd say.Well-maintained pontoons and berths and the modern shower and toilet facilities, Laguna Marina has everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Note: There are more nautical schools in Malta, and all of them deliver the necessary knowledge to pass the MTA exam.

Valletta Grand Harbour: A Natural Fortress Shaped by History

The Grand Harbour of Valletta is a maritime hotspot with a long, and sometimes dark. history and strategic significance. Carved by nature and owned by multiple ivaders, this deep-water harbor has been a coveted prize for centuries. And you know what? It's not hard to see why, and it's one of the most beautiful harbors in the world.

View from Ta' Xbiex to the the three citiesIts unique geography is key to its importance. The harbor is a natural one, sheltered by a peninsula and flanked by cliffs and headlands. This combination creates a super safe place for ships, protecting them from rough seas and storms. Plus, the harbor's narrow entrance and easily defendable position made it a natural fortress, perfect for keeping any invaders at bay. 

There are the reasons why lots of different groups, like the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and the Knights of St. John, saw how important the harbor was and left their mark on it. The Knights, especially, went all out, transforming Valletta into a fortified city and naval base in the 16th century, making the harbor even more strategically important for centuries to come.

The Grand Harbour has seen some serious action throughout history. Like, in 1565, the Knights of St. John had this epic showdown called the Great Siege of Malta, where they fought off the Ottoman Empire and protected Malta and Gozo. During World War II the harbour was a crucial base for the British Mediterranean Fleet, and even though it got bombed a lot, it played a huge role in helping the Allies win the war.

Laguna Marina: A Marina Steeped in History

The marina is located within the heart of Valletta's Grand Harbour. The harbour is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a place that's practically overflowing with maritime history. As you leave the marina, you're greeted by a majesty of the Three Cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua, their fortifications creating a dramatic backdrop against the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. It's a sight that never fails to inspire awe and reminds you that you're sailing in a place where history and adventure converge.

Laguna Marina, Floriana, Malta

Beyond its stunning setting, Laguna Marina itself is a one of the spots for visitors. With its well-maintained facilities, friendly community, and easy access to some of Malta's most stunning cruising grounds, it's the perfect place to launch your sailing trips. 

One Of The Top Spots in Malta’s Maritime Scene

If you're considering getting your nautical license in Malta, I highly recommend checking out Laguna Marina. It's the perfect place to learn, explore, and connect with fellow sailing enthusiasts. 
Laguna Marina in Floriana, Malta

The training program at Laguna Marina goes far beyond what's typically required. We met four times for in-depth classroom (okay, at the veranda overlooking the marina) sessions, covering everything from the basics of seamanship, navigation, and boat handling to more advanced topics that proved invaluable when I faced the Malta Transport Authority (MTA) exam. We even had a dedicated prep session the day before the exam, which helped solidify all the knowledge we'd gained. I remember my parking lessons, tbh I didn’t get it done in my first lesson. We had a stronger current, the boat was an Axopar with strong engines, and they won, both, that day :) We went back two days later, and we got it easily done. Now, why parking? It’s part of the requirements to use the Marina, and an extremely valuable lesson - or do you want to crash your boat into a multi-million super yacht?

The learning wasn't just limited to the classroom. The instructors at Laguna Marina get that the weather doesn't always play nice with our sailing plans. So, when the conditions weren't ideal for getting out on the water, we switched to online Skype sessions from the comfort of our homes. We talked about theory, rules, and technical stuff like fire extinguisher systems, battery checks, and radio etiquette.

Thanks to this flexible and comprehensive approach, I passed the MTA exam on my first try! The knowledge I gained about maritime flags, proper anchoring techniques, speed limits in different zones, and collision avoidance rules (who has right of way in various scenarios) gave me the confidence to tackle those tricky exam questions head-on.

Tips for Getting Your Nautical License at Laguna Marina

  • Book in advance: The training courses are in demand, so it's best to book your spot early.
  • Come prepared: Be sure to bring all the required documents, including your passport or ID card.
  • Ask questions: The instructors are there to help you, so don't be afraid to ask questions if you're unsure about anything.

Have fun! Learning to drive a vessel should be an enjoyable experience, and here you'll have it!


Laguna Marina is more than just a marina; it's located within the historic Grand Harbour of Valletta, a place with a rich maritime legacy. For centuries, this harbor has been a bustling hub for maritime activity, serving as a shelter for fishing boats, a base for naval operations, and a crucial gateway for trade and travel.

Today, the harbor and its marinas, including Laguna Marina, are thriving centers for commercial operations like cruises, container and logistics, but also sailing, yachting, and other water sports. The area is home to a community of boat owners, sailors, and enthusiasts.

So, not only does Laguna Marina offer top-notch training and facilities, but it also provides direct access to this breathtaking historical and cultural part of Malta's history. It's a truly unique place to relax or start with your boating and yachting adventures.