Suez Canal Lets Global Mercy Transit for Free 

Mercy Ships UK Global Mercy Sailing

Suez Canal Lets Global Mercy Transit for Free 

Two governments have generously waived the charge for the Global Mercy to pass through Suez Canal meaning thousands of extra lives can be saved in Africa.

The world’s largest charity hospital ship and the newest in the Mercy Ships fleet is currently on its way to Antwerp where it will be further equipped before it starts its first service in spring 2022.

The Sengalese and Egyptian governments enabled the Global Mercy to pass free of charge through the Suez Canal passage – connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

This unique gesture will enable Mercy Ships, which is funded entirely by charitable donors and volunteers, to provide free surgical care to thousands more people in central and west Africa.

The moment the Global Mercy was granted free passage on 28th August was captured as it made its way to Malta. Watch the video here.


President of Senegal, Macky Sall, praised the work of Mercy Ships, which has been providing surgery free of charge to the world’s poorest for more than 40 years.

He said: “I have seen and experienced with my own eyes that Mercy Ships is a wonderful organisation that brings hope and healing to many African countries. We will welcome the Global Mercy with open arms in the spring of 2022 and give our full support at the start of its first mission in Africa.

“We are very grateful for the indispensable support of so many to actually help my country and my people.”

Bert van Dijk, international board member and president of Mercy Ships Belgium, expressed tremendous gratitude and support of the nations.

He said: “This is a wonderful example of a unique collaboration between two heads of state to support Mercy Ships and contribute to the improvement of healthcare in Africa.”

He said the ship is in the last leg of the journey to the Port of Antwerp in Belgium where it will be further outfitted and finished from September 2021 to February 2022.


Port of Antwerp also made the arrival of the Global Mercy in Antwerp possible by offering a free berth and support. Volunteers will fully equip the ship as a state-of-the-art hospital. As well as supply and crew the ship for its first service in West and Central Africa.

Chairman of the Port of Antwerp said: “This unique project is a highlight in the collaboration between Port of Antwerp and Mercy Ships. The social commitment in the port community is very high, so we are not alone in our support. Dozens of companies in our port already support Mercy Ships structurally and will do the same in the equipping of the Global Mercy. Mercy Ships and the wonderful work they do are close to the heart of the Port of Antwerp.”

Residents in Belgium are being encouraged to line the River Scheldt to welcome the ship as it comes into port.

The hospital ship will also make a stop in Rotterdam for two weeks in Spring 2022 where the charity intends to make public visits onboard possible.


Opportunities to serve onboard are vast. If you want to be part of a global team that transform lives find out more at

HIDDEN DEPTHS: Global Mercy fact file

The Global Mercy will be the ‘partner ship’ of the Africa Mercy and double Mercy Ships capacity. But that’s just the start of her capabilities

  •  During its missions, the Global Mercy can accommodate at least 950 people, including 641 crew members, who consist of volunteers from all over the world. 
  •  In addition to the hospital, the ship also has first-class training facilities with which Mercy Ships contributes to the sustainable development of local medical care in many countries. 
  • The Global Mercy is a unique ship in the passenger class: 174 meters long, 28.6 meters wide and a gross tonnage of 37,000!
  • It has six operating rooms, 200 beds, a laboratory, general outpatient clinics and eye and dental clinics. 
  •  The total area of the hospital department is 7,000 m². 
  • The ship was delivered and left the shipyard in China at the end of July, after successfully carrying out mandatory sea trials.