The largest civilian hospital ship in the world, the Global Mercy, will dock in the port of Rotterdam on Saturday, 26 February. This brand new 37,000 grt Mercy Ships hospital vessel will be officially presented to the public and open for tours and events for two weeks before the ship heads towards Africa with volunteers on board to fulfil the mission of making safe surgery accessible in Africa.
The Global Mercy will receive a festive reception in the port of Rotterdam. Here, anybody who is interested will have the opportunity to admire the ship from the outside and the inside. The visit of the Global Mercy is a historic moment, as the last visit of a Mercy Ships hospital ship in Europe is already fifteen years ago. The public is invited to come on board and meet the largest private hospital ship in the world.
There are several ways for visitors to experience this unique event in Rotterdam. You can book a free tour on the ship, welcome the ship in Rotterdam on 26 February, attend a Sunday church service on the ship or take an online tour. All information regarding the different events, visitor guidelines, tours and tickets can be found on globalmercy.org.
Starting on 28 February, free interactive tours of the ship will be organized every day, offering a fascinating Global Mercy experience. You will be immersed in the world of patients, medical volunteers, life on board and the operations and training that Mercy Ships provides on the hospital ship. You can also 'step on board' online to experience the hospital experience and explore the ship with a virtual tour, accompanied by a guide. Would you like to take a tour on the ship? Via this link you can book a free ticket to visit the ship.
The Global Mercy will arrive in Rotterdam on Saturday 26 February. We invite interested parties to welcome the ship between 12.00 and 14.00 hours when she enters the port of Rotterdam for the very first time. The ship will arrive around 13.00 hours, so be there on time! More information about the arrival can be found on the event website.
Church services on Sundays
On Sundays 27 February, 6 March and 13 March, visitors can participate in international church services on board. The arrival of the Global Mercy is a special moment in the history of Mercy Ships. We are grateful to God for this milestone and gladly come together to celebrate His faithfulness. The services are accessible on the ship as well as online. Tickets for the services on the ship or online services can be reserved through the website.
In addition, there are several (online) activities that offer medical and maritime professionals the opportunity to learn more about the work that Mercy Ships does in Africa. These activities will be online soon.
About the Global Mercy
The Global Mercy is Mercy Ships' first ship designed and built specifically as a hospital ship. Previous ships, including the current Africa Mercy, have all been transformed into hospital ships that previously served a different purpose. The ship is 174 metres long and has a gross tonnage of 37,000 tonnes. It has six operating theatres and can accommodate more than 600 volunteers from all over the world representing many disciplines, including surgeons, maritime personnel, cooks, teachers, electricians and more.
"The Global Mercy is a unique ship" says Marianne Havinga, director of Mercy Ships Holland. "It is a complete hospital ship, equipped with modern technology and custom-made instruments. It enables us to offer the highest quality care to the poorest people in the world. At the same time, it offers volunteers an excellent opportunity to use their talents in service and to gain an extraordinary experience."
According to the Lancet Global Surgery 2030 Report, an estimated 16.9 million people die each year due to lack of access to surgical care. More than 93 per cent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to safe and timely surgical care. As COVID-19 threatens the stability of already fragile healthcare systems worldwide, the need for basic life-saving care is greater than ever, especially in less fortunate countries. The Global Mercy will provide several African countries with a safe and clean medical environment, with assistance and resources from some of the best-trained doctors in the world. During the expected life span of 50 years, it is estimated that more than 150,000 lives will be changed on board by surgery alone.