Ukrainian refugees love their cruise liner housing – but floating barges are to soon house Channel migrants

THE only refugees housed on boats in Britain say they love it so much they want to stay.But they are Ukrainians fleeing a war zone — and on a luxury..

THE only refugees housed on boats in Britain say they love it so much they want to stay.

But they are Ukrainians fleeing a war zone — and on a luxury cruise liner rather than the floating barges expected to soon house Channel migrants.

-- AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2022 -- Migrants carry a smuggling boat on their shoulders as they prepare to embark on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, northern France on October 12, 2022, in a attempt to cross the English Channel. (Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP) / AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2022 (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)
Channel migrants are soon expected to be housed on floating barges

2000 small boat arrivals will be housed on converted ships and military bases from today (WEDS), Braverman to announce. As migrant housing bill revealed to be a shocking £3.5 BILLION last year across 400 hotels, new arrivals will instead be detained at former airbases in Lincolnshire and Essex as well as shipping containers converted into floating temporary accommodation.,
But these aren’t quite as luxurious as the housing that Ukrainian refugees have been placed in

MS Victoria Ukrainian refugees Story - SOS FEATURE   These are Ukranians who live aboard.
Alisa does hope to go back to Ukraine to see her family despite the warm welcome in the UK

This week ministers sparked outrage over their proposals to send asylum seekers to live on the vessels normally used for offshore construction projects.

But those on the MS Victoria — docked in Leith Port, Edinburgh — are impressed with the “five-star” facilities.

Lawyer Olena Bartyna, 39, who has been on the ship since September, is sad they will soon have to depart.

Olena, who is with her 72-year-old mother and one-year-old baby among 1,400 fellow nationals, said: “We have a cinema and a room for children where they can play and be educated.

“We have English classes and a psychologist to help cope with the trauma.”

Olena, from Kharkiv, added: “Our cabin is little, maybe six metres wide, but we have hot water, electricity and a good view of the sea.

“We’re really sad that we’re going to have to move out of it in the next three months.”

Daria Bondarenko was previously in a Holiday Inn with her daughters but prefers it on MS Victoria.

The mum, from Kyiv, whose ballet dancer husband Igor is still in Ukraine, said: “In the evenings there are cinemas, and they organise activities.”

Despite the warm welcome some hope to go back to Ukraine.

Alisa Liudmyla, from Kyiv, said: “I think that now I will go back to my real home, I miss my mother and brother who are there.”

Scot Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton initially had doubts about the accommodation.

But he said: “It is like a huge, all-inclusive hotel.

“The refugees have a shuttle bus that takes them into town and I wouldn’t make much distinction between staying on a cruise ship and living in a hotel.”

Alamy Live News. 2JK3MEK Leith, Scotland, UK. 30th July 2022. View of the Estonian ferry MS Victoria berthed at a dock in Leith, Edinburgh. The ferry has been acquired to temporarily house Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Scotland. The first refugees have already moved into cabins on board. Iain Masterton/Alamy Live News This is an Alamy Live News image and may not be part of your current Alamy deal . If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to check.
Many Ukrainian refugees are sad to leave the cruise liner with its excellent facilities