Second cruise ship chartered to provide accommodation for Ukrainians

MS Ambition will be located in Glasgow and is expected to be fully operational by September.

Scottish Government charters second cruise ship to provide accommodation for Ukrainians STV News

A second cruise ship has been chartered by the Scottish Government to provide accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.

MS Ambition will be located in Glasgow and is expected to be fully operational by September.

The ship will able to host up to 1,750 people who have been offered a place in Scotland through the Super Sponsor Scheme and the UK Government Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Just over 1,600 Ukrainians are already being housed on the MS Victoria, docked at Leith in Edinburgh.

Sanctuary has been offered to 10,056 under the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme since it was launched in March.

MS Victoria is docked in Leith, Edinburgh.STV News

Neil Gray, the minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, explained the second ship in Glasgow will enhance the Government’s ability to provide secure accommodation.

“The Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme has now enabled more than 10,000 people to come to Scotland following the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there is currently no end to the war in sight. We are firmly focused on supporting displaced people from Ukraine who are seeking sanctuary in Scotland as they flee the war in their homeland.

“Following the arrival of the MS Victoria I – which has been well received by people on board – the Scottish Government is chartering a second passenger ship – the M/S Ambition – which will be located in Glasgow from early September.

“This will further enhance our ability to provide safe and secure accommodation for those who need it.”

Gray said the Government is encouraging those arriving in the country to consider areas in Scotland to live, with high demand in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“We are getting close to capacity for the temporary accommodation currently available, particularly across the central belt,” said Gray.

“While areas like Glasgow and Edinburgh are more familiar to Ukrainians, we are encouraging everyone arriving here to consider other areas across Scotland, especially as we see more visas being issued.

“We can guarantee that anyone arriving here will receive a warm welcome from communities across the country, keen to provide support and open their homes.”

He added: “As a humanitarian crisis requiring a whole-of-Scotland response, the Scottish Government continues to work closely with local councils and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to ensure those displaced people who are already here, and those who have applied and are granted permission to travel, will be safe, secure and supported for as long as they need.”