A Rotterdam-class cruise ship dubbed Volendam belonging to Holland America Line is ready to provide shelter for Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands. Per the agreement between the City of Rotterdam Government and the Netherlands officials, the vessel is going to harbor in Rotterdam for about three months to provide a temporary home to almost 1,500 Ukrainians.
The initiative is also part of the Netherlands’ pledge to house about 50,000 people from Ukraine. Gus Antorcha, the president of Holland America Line said that the company was founded in Rotterdam to help immigrants find a better life.
With approximately 650 crew members, Volendam was considering beginning its service on 15 May. Plans included voyages from Rotterdam to the British Isles, Norway, and Iceland.
To accommodate refugees, Holland America Line has decided to call off three such voyages and restart services on 3 June. The ship is going to dock at Merwehaven, a Rotterdam cargo port situated on the north of the River Maas.
Arnold Donald, the CEO and Carnival president of Holland America Line parent firm said that the company has crew members from almost 145 countries. It sails with guests from all over the world, so they deeply feel the impact of such a massive humanitarian crisis. They are glad to be joining others in relief efforts.
A recent Reuters report, meanwhile, mentioned that Ukraine had pledged insurance payments for impaired cargo ships on its Danube stretch owing to the conflict, highlighting a government decision.
Ukraine is heavily dependent on Black Sea ports, blocked during the Russian attack, to export its commodities, including grains, oilseeds, and steel.
Vanochtend met @StasJenV op cruiseschip De Volendam geweest, waar we dankzij @HALcruises, geweldig werk van het team van de gemeente @rotterdam en goede samenwerking met @ministerieJenV en het Leger des Heils, vanaf deze week 1.400 Oekraïense vluchtelingen gaan opvangen. 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/jS0Fq6faJZ
— Vincent Karremans (@vincentkar) April 4, 2022