Malta is located in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea just south of Sicily.  The Maltese archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino.  Their total population is approximately 400,000.  The largest island of the group is Malta from which the archipelago takes its name and which accounts for just over 90.5% of the population.  Valletta, the capital, is the cultural, administrative and commercial centre of the archipelago.

Malta is well served with harbours, the main international ports being the Valletta Grand Harbour and the Port of Marsaxlokk.  The second largest island is Gozo which can be reached from Malta by ferry from the ports of Ċirkewwa and Marsamxett or by seaplane from the port of Valletta.  Gozo has one port – Mgarr.

Maritime activity centres around the two main Malta ports, Valletta and Marsaxlokk, although a number of other ports occasionally host ships on international voyages, usually passenger vessels.  Both are capable of providing a comprehensive package of maritime services including towage, salvage, pilotage, victualling and provisions of all kinds of stores and supplies.