COP26: Cruise ship arrives on River Clyde to house delegates

The 'last-minute' agreement will see two vessels provide cabins for those attending the UN climate summit in Glasgow.

A cruise ship that will accommodate those attending the global climate conference in Glasgow has arrived in Scotland.

It is the first of two vessels chartered to provide a place for delegates and workers at COP26 to stay during the UN summit.

The Latvian-flagged Romantika berthed at the King George V dock, next to Braehead Shopping Centre, on Tuesday and will be joined by the Silja Europa from Estonia shortly.

Tallink, the shipping company that operates the vessels, said the “last-minute” agreements to charter the cruise ships came at a “very opportune time” but put staff under “extreme pressure”.

Tallink via Tallink
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With around 30,000 delegates expected to attend COP26 on the banks of the Clyde, the Romantika and Silja Europa cruise ships can accommodate just over 3300 between them.

It comes as a surge in demand for accommodation has seen prices across the city rocket, with some hotels, B&Bs and apartments charging over £20,000 to stay for the duration of the conference.

Thousands of people who want to come to Glasgow to take part in the UN climate summit are struggling to find somewhere to stay amid the shortage and soaring costs.

The COP26 Homestay Network, like a not-for-profit Airbnb, is encouraging families to offer a place to stay for free or for a low price.

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Airbnb is offering Glaswegians a £100 bonus to open their homes to those visiting the city for the conference.

Tallink CEO Paavo Nõgene said: “It is a great boost for the company and the employees, although of course it is also a huge challenge for us all in terms of the extremely short time we have for preparations and I know such last-minute agreements put our staff under extreme pressure for delivery.

“I am sincerely grateful to everyone for the valiant effort made and the level and quality of the service we manage to provide regardless of the immense pressure.”