'If Libya is hell and Europe is heaven, this is purgatory': Life inside Covid-19 quarantine ship

Journalist Ian Urbina volunteered with the Red Cross in order to spend time on one of the Covid-19 quarantine ships moored off the coast of Italy. Nine luxury cruise ships were repurposed to house children, women and men fleeing their countries across the sea for a better life

06 June 2021 - 00:00 By Ian Urbina

La Suprema, a cruise ship built in 2003 for $120m (about R960m then), can carry nearly 3,000 passengers, plus 1,000 cars. The length of six or seven soccer fields, the ship has 567 cabins, three restaurants, six bars, a dozen or so shops, a casino, a movie theatre, a nightclub and a chapel.

Its eight storeys are connected by glass-encased lifts, so that holidaymakers can avoid overexerting themselves on the stairs after a few rounds at the buffet. Many of the ceilings are panelled with mirrors, to give a sense of greater spaciousness...

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