Ship sail

This huge cruise ship in Rotterdam is being used to house Ukrainian refugees

As people around the world have stepped up to do their part to help the people of Ukraine, so has the travel industry. From housing refugees to shipping humanitarian aid, many travel companies have volunteered to help Ukrainians in times of need.

And now a huge cruise ship docked in Rotterdam is also doing its part. The Volendam, a 237-meter-long cruise ship owned by Holland America Line, opens to Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.

The Volendam’s ten decks have enough space to temporarily house 1,500 refugees, but the liner does not just house them. It will also provide refugees with three meals a day, as well as access to the ship’s Wi-Fi, housekeeping services and gyms. Medical and social care on board will be organized by the Salvation Army, and residents will be able to come and go as they please. It’s all pretty darn cool, if you ask us.

So far, the Dutch government has particularly welcomed Ukrainian refugees. Following the pledge to host up to 50,000 people fleeing the conflict, they have helped 1,700 Dutch households to offer their homes to Ukrainians – and, notably, even donated one of the castles of the Dutch royal family.

The Volendam has been moored in Rotterdam since Covid put a temporary halt to most cruise travel. He was due to return to regular duty in May, but this has now been postponed until July so he can provide safe haven for three months for refugees from Ukraine. A hundred Ukrainians have already boarded the Volendam, others are expected in the coming days.

Want to do your part to help? here is 22 ways to support the Ukrainian people right now.