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Cruise Line Steps Up for Ukrainians

A number of cruise companies employing Ukrainians, and continuing to do so in these difficult times, have stepped up to provide transport for those who wish to go home to their families or communication facilities for those remaining.

“As a company with a strong family culture and heritage, we acted quickly early on in the conflict – on Feb. 24 – to provide as much support as possible for our Ukrainian crew, which number almost 400,” MSC Cruises told Cruise Industry News in a statement.

“We immediately offered an option to help the crew return to their homeland before the completion of their contracts so that they could be with their families and loved ones if they so wished. Our Ukrainian crew who are still onboard all have unlimited free WiFi and internet access to stay in close contact with their relatives and friends, and some crew have asked to extend their contracts with us, which we will fulfil.”

MSC continued: “We have also convened a dedicated central ‘Care Team’ to support the well-being of all of our Ukrainian crew across our entire fleet with other forms of help that include professional psychological counseling.

MSC Cruises’ Crew Office and the MSC Foundation have also set up a “special taskforce” to support the Ukrainian crew members and the different requests that they receive, and to help provide logistical humanitarian support to the crew and their families during the war.

In addition to that, the cruise line, working with its sister company MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, has identified several locations in Romania to accommodate its crew members’ close families who are fleeing the war.

“Two hundred rooms have already been made available to us for one month at a facility in Constanta and, should there be a need for more accommodation capacity, we will expand our network accordingly. The MSC Foundation is taking care of all expenses related to this accommodation and food,” the cruise line said.

MSC said that it has extended the medical coverage that its Ukrainian crew are entitled to as per the terms of their employment with MSC Cruises to the crew members’ families.

“We continue to constantly review the situation of our Ukrainian crew and consider further types of support as appropriate to ensure their wellbeing and as best we can that of their families,” the cruise line wrote.

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