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Africa Mercy


Deployed in 2007. Acquired in 1999, the Dronning Ingrid underwent conversion from a Danish rail ferry into the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship. Sponsored by corporate and individual donors, the purpose-built Africa Mercy has five operating rooms and an 80-bed ward.

Facilities & Features


The hospital covers most of the original rail deck – approximately 1,200 square metres. It is divided into quadrants containing supply/services, five operating theatres, recovery/intensive care and low-dependency wards with a total of 80 patient beds. Projected annual medical capacity is approximately 7,000 surgical procedures onboard including cataract removal/lens implants, tumour removal, cleft lip and palate reconstruction, orthopaedics and obstetric fistula repair. The hospital contains a CT Scanner as well as X-ray, laboratory services and a Nikon Coolscope, which allow remote diagnosis almost instantaneously. Whenever required, diagnoses are transmitted via an onboard satellite communication system to doctors in developed countries.

Programs Ashore

In addition to the operations performed on board, on-land teams of volunteers work to increase health and well-being using dental clinics, eye clinics, and medical capacity building programs that train local health care professionals in their fields of expertise to better serve their own people.


The Africa Mercy has meeting and work spaces as well as accommodation for an average crew of 450. The 474 berths are split between 26 family cabins, 25 two-berth cabins for couples, and shared and single cabins for individual occupants.

Safety & Security

The vessel is fitted with an automatic sprinkler system throughout the accommodation and hospital areas. An addressable smoke detector system pinpoints the exact location of the source of any potential fire. Machinery spaces are covered by CO2 gas flooding system as well as a “Hi Fog” system which can be very effective in controlling localised fires in the machinery space. Gurkha security guards man the gangway 24 hours a day with metal detectors and other screening devices. They are backed up by CCTV around the vessel, while critical spaces such as the bridge and engine room remain locked at all times.


Length: 152 m
Breadth: 23.7 m
Gross Tonnage: 16,572
Built: 1980 Elsinore, Denmark
Registered: Malta
Crew Capacity: 474
Cargo Capacity: 1,724 m3
Main Engines: 4 B&W (3120 kW each)
Draft: 6.0 m
Surveyed By: Bureau Veritas