Mercy Ships


Imagine. No hospital when having a baby, and no dentist when you are in pain. Imagine watching your child's life slowly and needlessly ebb away due to a completely preventable cause, because there are no doctors.

Now imagine. A ship crewed by volunteer surgeons, dentists, nurses and other equally talented individuals including engineers, IT consultants and caterers; and their services offered free of charge to the world's poorest people.... That's Mercy Ships.

The giant, state-of-the-art hospital ship - the Africa Mercy - is the world's largest NGO hospital ship, and takes hope and healing across the horizon. Our hospital ship is full of donated supplies and extraordinary volunteers with the sole purpose of helping the neediest and most critically damaged people on earth through free surgery and health care.

Why a ship?


More than 75% of the world's population lives within 100 miles of a port city, and many of these cities are in developing countries where access to adequate health care is limited or non existent. A ship is the most efficient platform to deliver a state of the art hospital to these port cities, as many nations lack basic infrastructure services such as a clean water supply, reliable power supply and medical personnel and facilities.

A ship is a controlled, safe and clean environment ideally suited for serving patients and crew. All 450+ volunteers live on board and even pay crew fees while living and volunteering with Mercy Ships. Patients thrive on board the Africa Mercy, where their basic needs are met.

The Africa Mercy

  • 5 world class operating theatres
  • Wards with beds for up to 100 patients
  • X Ray facilities, CT scanner and laboratory
  • An International School (for crew members children), a library and even a Starbucks
  • Home to around 450+ international crew of incredible medical and non medical volunteers
  • Converted Danish rail ferry
  • Docks in each country for approx. 10 months at a time
  • Made over 575 port visits to provide free healthcare to the poorest in the world since
  • 1978
  • The Africa Mercy hospital ship is currently serving on the island of Madagascar

Rob Roy Challenge

You are helping Mercy Ships to deliver life-saving care to the poorest of the poor.

Our partnership with the Rob Roy Challenge means that we'll be able to help more people broken down through poverty and disease in some of the poorest countries in the world. A lack of health care in developing countries means that children and adults with surgical needs go untreated. Mercy Ships mission is to address that need and we perform thousands of free transformative surgeries every year.

Funds raised by everyone taking part in the Rob Roy Challenge will help to power our floating hospital ship and pay for essential medical supplies and ship repairs; allowing our extraordinary volunteers to continue to provide over 322 medical operations and procedures every single day.

Madagascar One Field Service Overview from Mercy Ships on Vimeo.

Mercy Ships website