COVID-19 Safety Onboard a Mercy Ship

11 March 2021

As Mercy Ships prepares to return our fleet to Africa, we’re also in the process of staffing both of our ships with an international crew. Our lifesaving, life-changing work wouldn’t be possible without incredible volunteers coming from around the world to serve onboard.

Of course, we have had to adapt life onboard our ships to ensure we can return to our work in Africa while protecting the health and safety of everyone onboard. Here are some of the key measures we’re taking to keep our community safe in light of COVID-19.

Varied COVID-19 Prevention Methods

The health and safety of everyone onboard is a top priority to us. Our COVID-19 prevention methods include:

  • Regular testing: We aim to test our crew and day crew regularly.
  • Health screenings: In addition to conducting health screenings and medical checks, we’ll also be proactively keeping our community safe through health monitoring and temperature checks.
  • Care onboard: The crew clinic onboard will provide fast and free medical care to crew as needed.
  • Frequent communication: Regular meetings, digital signage, and Captain’s noticeboard announcements keep crew informed of the latest health recommendations

Socially Distanced Community Life

Community is a major part of life onboard our ships. After a particularly isolating and challenging year for many, we’re thrilled that our ships can be a place of connection and purpose for our international crew once again. We have taken several different steps to foster a vibrant community while still facilitating social distancing.

Some of these changes include:

  • Limiting our cabin capacities to a maximum of four people per cabin.
  • Eliminating self-service in the dining rooms and instead offering plating and service from the dining room staff.
  • Implementing social distancing practices in our dining room and cafe areas.
  • Requiring that all persons onboard the ships wear masks in public spaces.
  • Encouraging regular and thorough hand-washing and hand sanitization.

There will still be plenty of opportunities to engage with others and relax a safe, socially distanced way. Crew will be able to grab a coffee at the Starbucks Cafe, browse books and movies at the library, and stock up on essential items at the Ship Shop onboard. There are also plenty of opportunities to get some fresh air outdoors, like Deck 7 and the pool and playground areas on Deck 8, as well as the dock.

Review our COVID-19 FAQs to Learn More

Any prospective or returning crew looking for further information can visit our FAQ page to learn more.