Operating continuously since 1860, the MBL Group is a leader in Maltese and Mediterranean Cruise Operation Services, Yacht Industry Services, Destination Management and MICE markets, represents Messe Berlin in Malta, and hosts the Consulate for South Africa for the Maltese territory.
The company was originally set up in 1860 under the name C & G Fratelli Mifsud by the great, great, grandfather of Ivan Mifsud, today's managing director, its core function being that of attending vessels entering the Grand Harbour.
In 1933, it was found necessary to change its name to Mifsud Brothers Ltd., the very same name under which it still operates today from its modern office at 14 Lighters Wharf in the innermost part of the Grand Harbour.
The 1945-50 period was a memorable one in the history of Mifsud Brothers. This was the time when the company, headed by Paul Mifsud (Ivan’s grandfather) was appointed General Agents for Cunard White Star Passenger Line, Cunard Steam Cargo Line, as well as Swan Hellenic. This was to be springboard to MBL growth in the cruise sector as well as in the shipping business. Furthermore, in the sixties when tourism started to sprout in Malta with the advent of airplanes, MBL diversified into the hotel business in 1968 and later in destination management.
Ivan took over from his father in 1998 and in his first year at the helm, had the opportunity to welcome Cunard's flagship, the QE 2. This was a particularly pleasant event, as this maiden call to Malta fittingly crowned fifty years of continuous service to Cunard Line by three generations of the Mifsud Brothers family and moreover it was the first and only time in the whole of MBL’s history that 4 generations of Mifsuds were onboard: Ivan's grandfather Paul, his father Ronald, himself and his daughter Michela (at the time only 5 years old).
In 2002, MBL expanded its cruise services into Libya which unfortunately came to an abrupt halt with the Arab spring in 2011. Fortunately, in 2006, two other projects that were started a few years earlier started to bear fruit. This was the “Cruise Gozo” concept which was MBL’s initiative to convince cruise lines to add Gozo as a supplementary port of call to Valletta. Although cruise ships had to anchor (rather than berth) alongside, guests had the opportunity to explore Malta’s beautiful sister island whilst the cruise ship benefited in a lower fuel burn thus saving money. The other project was that to create awareness about the cruise potential of Algeria. Today, Africa’s largest country yet little known to the cruise industry. After presenting the new exciting destination to key itinerary planners, the cruise lines began to test the waters. In 2006, we had the first calls in both Gozo and Algeria and today, this trickle is turning to a steady flow.
With the recent growth of the Super Yacht industry in Malta, MBL studied the prospects and decided to enter this growing sector and is now gaining ground. It is a member of Malta Super Yacht Association.
Today, with its earned experience, MBL is in a position to handle vessels ranging from luxury mega-yachts to cruise liners. Moreover, it has also assisted several ships undergoing repairs and refurbishing at Malta Drydocks. In the challenging cruise business we are extremely proud of our long association with our principals which include Cunard, Seabourn, Holland America, Zegrahm, Saga, SeaDream Yacht Club and Star Clippers. More recent principals are Phoenix, P&O and Viking Cruise Line. To us this is the seal of our longstanding tradition of quality and reliability in service. Our emphasis has always been and remains “Quality over Quantity” and we go out of our way to treat every client with special attention offering pre- and post- cruise packages, tailor-made shore excursions and turnaround logistic support. A reference list is available on request.
Since 2000, MBL has operated a quality assured destination management company, InterTravel which was re-branded in 2014 to 20Twenty – destination experts, to reflect its focus in handling bespoke FIT, Leisure & Special Interest Groups and M.I.C.E. Recent clients include Pfizer, Bayer, Amrop, Messe Berlin (IFA), Nordialog, Telekiosken and SBS Radio. The main markets are Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Benelux and Poland. Secondary markets are USA, Canada, South Africa and Algeria. A full reference list is available on request.
Mifsud Brothers is continually searching for opportunities, both locally and in the destinations it knows well like Algeria and Libya.