A docked ferry has become a floating hotel for Ukrainian refugees
In the city of Marseille, a ferry has been transformed into a floating hotel to accommodate up to 1,600 Ukrainian refugees.
One of the largest in the Corsica Linea fleet, the “Méditerranée” normally carries passengers between France, Algeria and Tunisia in the Balearic Sea. The ship can reach speeds of up to 44 km/h, carrying more than 2,450 passengers and 700 vehicles on each crossing.
But the ship is now back in port, where it will serve as a home for the million Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.
“We have a moral requirement of welcome and hospitality”, declares Christophe Mirmand, representative of the France Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.
“This floating hotel will be made available to them, along with social supports, health care, training, education for children, childcare and a crèche.”
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, more than 3.9 million citizens were forced to flee Ukraine.
The French state grants temporary EU residence permits to refugees, enabling them to access education and employment in the country.
“We are dealing with people who have just experienced a conflict”, explains Jean-Pierre Esterni, a volunteer doctor operating in the ‘Mediterranean’.
“We will offer psychological support and friendship. Everything is organized on board so that we can detect these problems and help where we can.”
Watch the video above to learn more about the floating hotel.