22 February 2006

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Business Today

Ustica lines to start operating

A catamaran cruise liner will start operating between Malta and Sicily for the first time, after SMS Group Ltd. was appointed agents of the Sicilian company Ustica Lines.
Ammarì, an exclusive catamaran liner that can take 68 passengers, is calling at the Grand Harbour every fortnight from 25/05 to 27/09/06. It provides those who wish to take a cruise to admire the beauty of a neighbouring island, the opportunity to embark and disembark from Malta.
Sicily is fast becoming a popular tourist destination with the Maltese and SMS Group Ltd. felt that by introducing this service it will be addressing the wishes of those who want to see the island, while enjoying the relaxation that comes with a cruise.
Passengers will have the chance to discover every aspect of the island from the sea, land, history and culture to the breathtaking coasts, natural ports and captivating inlets. The itinerary includes the Valley of the Temples, the island of Mothia and the saltpans, the varied colours of Monte Cafano, the extraordinary beauty of the Zingaro Reserve, the sea rocks of Scopello and the Aeolian Islands.
The 60-metre-long Ammarì, which has four decks, will give passengers the chance to relish these gems without the hassle of getting stuck in traffic. Those who are not keen on visiting any of the sites can either opt to swim or try their hand at water sports.
All the 32 passenger cabins are equipped with air conditioning, fridge bar, satellite television, internal telephone, safety box, hair dryer and en suite bathroom, among others.
The Sun Deck is equipped with a spa, complete with fitness club, an area for massages and beauty treatments, a hairdresser, bar, and decks to bask in the Sicilian sun.
On the second deck, a large area is reserved for the piano bar, and a restaurant that provides an eclectic mix of international dishes and traditional Sicilian plates, complete with a prestigious Sicilian wine list.
Ammarì is run by Ustica lines, which was founded in 1993 and is based in Trapani. It was bought as part of the company’s new project to operate special cruises around Sicily, which it launched in 2005. The company acquired the Rivage Saint Martin catamaran, renamed Ammarì, which was built in 2000 by Austal Shipyard in Australia, for this purpose. The ship underwent a number of upgrades in the cabins, the restaurant, bars and the sun deck to ensure the passengers are provided with a high standard of service.

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