The charity ship Aquarius operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SOS Mediterranee arrived at the Spanish port of Valencia on Sunday, as the country welcomed the ship and its 629 migrants on board.

It was a week since Italy and Malta had turned away the occupants of the rescue ship, that contained 400 people picked up by the Italian navy and transferred via coast guard boats and private cargo ships to Aquarius. 229 other migrants were rescued from unseaworthy boats or from the water by the ship’s rescue crews.

The ship had to travel an additional 700 nautical miles to accept Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s offer to take the ship in, Reuters reported.

Earlier this week, Sanchez said: "It is our duty to help avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and offer a safe port to these people, to comply with our human rights obligations."

The BBC reported that Health officials and interpreters were available at the scene. The ship contained seven pregnant women and 123 unaccompanied minors according to the Times of Israel.

Sanchez with the migrant-friendly stance he adopted since acquiring his post two weeks, and the new socialist government in the country, has promised them free healthcare and says it will investigate each asylum case.

The Reuters report said there were 106 migrants on the vessel as two ships from Italy’s navy and coast guard shared the passenger load, in order the make the significantly longer journey more safe, while the BBC report said Italian coast guard ship, the Dattilo, had entered Valencia’s port.

On hand, at the scene were 1,000 Red Cross workers greeting migrants as they stepped off. The case highlighted a change in Italy’s policy by their country’s new eurosceptic government, as the Express reported that over 600,000 people have arrived in the country via sea over the past five years.

On extending the offer Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said they were doing so “to oblige Europe to forge a common policy to a common problem,” the publication said.

On denying the vessel entry, the Italian government had pointed to Malta to “open its ports for the hundreds of the rescued on the NGO ship Aquarius.”

“The island can’t continue to turn the other way,” a joint statement by Italian transportation minister Danilo Toninelli and interior minister Matteo Salvini said. “The Mediterranean is the sea of all the countries that face it, and it (Malta) can’t imagine that Italy will continue to face this giant phenomenon in solitude.”

Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, for his part, via Twitter said: "Malta is in full conformity with international obligations & will not take the vessel in its ports. We will continue, where possible, carrying out individual & humanitarian emergency medical evacuations."

Red Cross official Pedro Redon, speaking to the BBC, said the migrants would first receive food and hygiene kits. The pregnant women will receive check-ups and everyone on board will receive psychological help.

They are entitled to medical assistance as promised to them by the Spanish government. Then, they will be identified by the police in order to initiate immigration procedures.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government will assist Spain in dealing with the migrants. Migrants who wish to go to France would be allowed to do so, provided they have a legitimate claim to that country, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said.