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The New Mercy Ship

New Ship to Double the Capacity to Deliver Free Healthcare

Mercy Ships has announced that it has signed contracts with Asian and European shipbuilding firms to purpose-build a new 37,000 GRT hospital ship for Mercy Ships.

“We are thrilled to formally secure this important milestone for a project we have worked on quietly for quite some time,” says Don Stephens, Mercy Ships President and Founder. “Our goal with this second Mercy Ship is to more than double the capacity for hope and healing through life-changing surgeries provided to those with little access to specialised healthcare and to increase the partnership of training and educational support of health professionals within the developing nations our ships will continue to serve.”

Facilities & Features


Since the launch of the Africa Mercy in 2007, Mercy Ships has planned for another ship of equal or greater capacity to be added to the fleet. Drawing upon over 35 years of organisational experience and over 5 years of specifically studying the outcomes of the Africa Mercy in serving the people of West and Central West Africa, Mercy Ships contracted for a purpose-built ship. This new ship will more than double the ability of Mercy Ships to deliver hope and healing, while significantly increasing capacity-building and training potential.

The new ship represents a global collaboration. The 37,000 GRT hospital ship will be constructed by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) in its Tianjin Xingang Shipyard with project management by Stena RoRo of Gothenburg, Sweden and construction design by Deltamarin of Turku, Finland. The French ship brokerage company Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) was instrumental in helping negotiate the contract. The new ship will be classed by Lloyd’s Register of the UK, and it will be flagged by Malta.


The hospital covers most of decks 3 and 4 – approximately 7000 square meters containing 6 operating rooms, an intensive care unit, clinical laboratory, diagnostic radiology, hospital supply and pharmacy services. With 109 acute care and 45 self-care beds, the hospital will have an onboard capacity of 154 patient beds. The hospital area also includes dedicated classroom/conference spaces as well as medical simulation labs for more effective training. All pre-operative and post-operative care can be done onboard rather than ashore, which minimises the Mercy Ships footprint when operating in busy ports. The new ship will more than double our annual medical capacity and is designed to carry out a wide range of surgeries including, but not limited to, maxillofacial reconstructive and tumor removal surgery, cleft lip and palate repair, plastics and orthopedic surgery, cataract removal, and obstetric fistula repair.


The new Mercy Ship will have meeting and work spaces as well as berths for an average crew of 600+, consisting of families, married couples, and singles, with numerous design considerations based upon prior operating experience and crew feedback. The ship incorporates the latest comprehensive technology for crew safety and security.

Construction Phases

The sequential steps in the building process include: up to 16 months of detailed design work, construction of the hull, outfitting the accommodation decks/hospital and installation of machinery systems, extensive testing and trials prior to delivery from shipyard, installation of additional equipment and IT hardware, and further testing prior to deployment.


Length: 174m
Breadth: 28.6m
Gross Tonnage: 37,000
Registered: Malta
Crew Capacity: 600+
Main Engines: Diesel Electric
Draft: 6.1 m
Decks: 11
Building: Tianjin Xingang Shipyard
Surveyed By: Lloyd’s Register