Using ships for temporary immigrant housing
Scotland joins with Landry & Kling to provide housing for over 3,000 Ukrainian Immigrants
Industry – Passenger Vessel Charters
Location – Miami, London
Company Size – 25
Year Founded -1982
Published: November 2022
Landry & Kling is the largest charterer of cruise ships, ferries, and accommodation vessels in the world. Past programs include; the Olympic Games, NFL Super Bowls, World Cup events, Cop 26 Environmental Conference, G7 Conference, Summit of the America’s, Disaster Relief, Immigration Programs, plus hundreds of theme cruises and corporate charters. This year Landry & Kling is celebrating their 40th year in operation. Founder Joyce Landry comments: “as a company always focused on a high level of integrity, we are so happy to help both Scotland and the Ukrainian refugees during their time of need.”
Since the war against Ukraine by Russia, millions of its citizens, primarily women and children, have fled to Western Europe. In response, Scotland, which has a long history of welcoming refugees initiated a ‘supersponsor’ program. Early projections of 3,000 arriving refugees were quickly exceeded forcing the government to find additional housing outside of hotels and unused council properties. Landry & Kling was contacted by an intermediary of the Scottish Government in an effort to use ships to provide affordable, safe and healthy temporary housing.
Over the past 40 years Landry & Kling has established relationships with owners of all types of vessels. These ships are often available for short or long-term charter and can provide housing solutions without major infrastructure planning, and can easily be sailed away when no longer in need. Cruise ships and ferries can provide on-board food preparation and service, housekeeping, security and other services often at lower rates than local hotel operations. Within just a few weeks from initial contact, Landry & Kling arranged for a first ship to arrive with capacity of over over 2,000 immigrants, with a second ship arriving just a few months later. Within only 3 months after arrival, both ships were operating at full capacity.
Advantages & Results
Landry & Kling was able to source and deliver ships quickly to meet the government’s needs in providing safe shelter.
- By careful vessel selection, Landry & Kling was able to provide per-room costs to match or reduce the accommodation budget for this project.
- L&K negotiated the initial contract and subsequent extensions to support the goals of the Scottish Government, including reducing the meal cost after several months to 2 meals instead of three. This resulted in significant cost savings while maintaining a service of 3 meals per day and charging a nominal cost to families onboard via a simple online payment application.
- The Scottish Government was able to interact daily with thousands of Ukrainians aboard both ships, deploying local council and government teams onboard such as education, employment, children’s program, social services, long-term housing opportunities, and medical care (physical & mental health). Both ships had sufficient public space to accommodate meetings.
- Port infrastructure requires a high level of security. Because of this, the ships were not accessible to the public or the media, thus ensuring a safe, secure, and private environment for Ukrainians fleeing their homeland.
- Since ships have strict health & safety protocols (higher standards than hotels), policies were in place to ensure minimal incidents of Covid and other infectious diseases. The crew and staff were also trained in proper safeguarding.
- With over 800 children on both ships, Landry & Kling saw the need and took action to create specific children’s programs and hired the teams to facilitate from the Ukrainian population onboard (former teachers, PE instructors, child psychologists). L&K supplied toys and materials to outfit children’s playrooms, provided movies in the onboard theatre, arts and crafts, sports, and other activities that allow displaced children (and their parents) to live a relatively normal life in a difficult situation.
- Support from local groups provided the infrastructure to accept toys, tickets to soccer matches, music and theater events, and so much more. The local community wanted to participate. L&K’s onboard team made sure their donations were distributed and appreciated.
Occupancy options per ship
Average per-person cost per day (including meals and housekeeping)
Reportable incidents after ~588,000 passenger days