Costa Cruises is offering one of its ships, the Costa Magica, to the Italian government as a temporary housing option for Ukrainian refugees if needed.
“Our thoughts are with the affected people, including the families of our many Ukrainian employees who are understandably concerned for their loved ones,” the cruise line said in a statement. The statement continued on saying that Costa had already donated medical supplies to aid Ukraine.
The Costa Magica is currently out of service and is located near La Spezia ahead of its transfer to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet. It has a double occupancy of 2,718 passengers, with a maximum capacity of about 3,400 passengers. The ship would be able to hold more people if crew cabins are used.
Costa also said that the costs of managing the ship would be covered by the company during the period where it is being used to house the refugees.
As of March 23, Italy has taken in 65,350 refugees since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the country plans on taking in more. The Governor of Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, has expressed his gratitude at being offered the Costa Magica, but said he will not make use of it unless it is necessary.
“Today we evaluated the offer from Costa Cruises to house refugees from Ukraine on a cruise ship. The gigantic ship has enormous operational costs and we would not know who to house in. For the moment the world of volunteering is enough to absorb the impact, but we thank Costa Cruises for the offer,” Toti said.
Other cruise lines have also offered their support to Ukraine amidst the crisis, including Carnival and the Carnival Corporation, which have been generous donors to relief efforts. Cruise lines have also lent their support to Ukrainian and Russian crew members during this difficult time.