Estonia to temporarily house Ukrainian war refugees on cruise ship

Tallink ferries.
Tallink ferries. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Ukrainian refugees arriving in Estonia will be temporarily housed on a cruise ship to combat the lack of short-term accommodation in the capital. The Social Insurance Board will conclude a deal on Tuesday.

Communication Adviser at Estonian Social Insurance Board Kristin Rammus said the deadline for tenders was 10 a.m. on Monday.

"On Tuesday, it will be clear whether and with which shipping companies contracts will be signed, and then we will inform the public about it," she said.

Rammus said the agency cannot give any more information at the moment, but depending on which ship is selected, it will be possible to accommodate between 2,000 or 3,000 people.

Chairman of the Management Board of ferry company Tallink Paavo Nõgene said the company submitted tenders and suggested two ships of different sizes. He did not want to specify which ships were involved. 

"I don't want to start speculating and disturbing our regular customers with this story because it will affect Tallink's normal route operations," he said on Monday.

Between February 27 and March 20, a total of 21,014 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Estonia. Approximately, 40 percent have been children.

The majority are staying with friends and family but 5,602 have sought temporary accommodation from the state.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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