Life on the Ships

Our Mercy Ships community is like no other. Compassionate volunteers from all over the world join together, living and working toward a common mission. Serving with Mercy Ships offers the chance to build friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime. Community life is one of the most rewarding aspects of life on board. Not only will your service with Mercy Ships make a difference in the lives of others—it will impact your own life, too.


Each cabin is designed to maximise space, and most have a private bathroom, small closet and desk area for each person, and Wi-Fi Internet access. If you’re a single crew member, you’ll live in a multi-berth cabin with bunk beds on the Africa Mercy or a two-berth cabin on the Global Mercy. A limited number of cabins are reserved for married couples and there are family cabins for those serving with their spouse and children.


Our Food Services Department serves delicious and nutritious meals three times a day in the on board dining room. The menu is set by the Food Services Department and when the occasional craving for homemade treats strikes, you can cook up whatever strikes your fancy in the crew galley. Limited groceries can be purchased in local stores or in the Ship Shop, our on board convenience store. 


Each ship is like a small city and includes amenities to make on board life as convenient as possible. There’s a laundry room, hair salon, bank, post office, gym, internet café/WiFi, a lending library with movies and board games, a swimming pool, and even a clinic for crew medical and dental care.


The unique experience of serving with Mercy Ships includes the adventure of discovering new places. Each country we serve in has its own culture and beauty. Our crew are encouraged to engage with the people we have come to serve, and even learn new languages! You can explore the local markets, attractions, and restaurants, or attend a local church.


From kindergarten to high school, the children of our crew learn everything they would discover in schools on land in our on board Academy— and more. The Academy is internationally accredited and meets educational standards of quality. Moreover, it is a place where children can experience the unique aspects of life on board our ships with people from all over the world.


Mercy Ships is able to accommodate volunteers with families for many of our long-term roles on board. We have an accredited 12-grade Academy on board specifically for crew children! Lesson plans include curriculum taught in a normal classroom environment, with the added benefits of international learning opportunities and experiences.


We want our volunteers to grow and thrive while serving on board. That’s why we provide ongoing training opportunities as a way of investing in the future of our crew members.


We take the safety of our crew and patients very seriously. Our team of experienced security officers are committed to keeping everyone safe. We will teach you how to get around safely, and will also provide opportunities for you to spend time ashore.

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