Global Mercy Arrives in Antwerp for Final Outfitting

The newest Mercy Ship floating hospital prepares to start its first service in spring 2022.

The newly-built Global Mercy, the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, has arrived in the Port of Antwerp where it will undergo final outfitting over the next six months

Built at Tianjin Xingang, the 37,000-gt Global Mercy left China towards the end of July bound for Belgium where the ship will be moored free of charge while the work is completed.

The port has partnered the hospital ship charity Mercy Ships since 2015, including an annual fundraising dinner.

Bert van Dijk, president of Mercy Ships Belgium, says the original plan was to complete the ship’s outfitting in the Philippines but this was not possible because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Dozens of companies from the port are assisting in equipping Global Mercy. Also financially and providing services free of charge, including pilotage and customs formalities.

Once completed, the 174-metre Global Mercy will have six operating rooms, 200 beds, a laboratory and general outpatient clinics, as well as eye and dental clinics.

A two-week stop in March 2022 is scheduled for Rotterdam where the charity hopes to arrange onboard public visits.

Global Mercy will then sail to Dakar, Saenegal where it will start its first field service—the first of many over the next 50 years.

More than 540 medical, maritime and programmatic crew can live on board, with space for up to 950 people when the ship is docked.

En route to Belgium, the Malta-flagged Global Mercy called at Valetta.

Volunteers are being sought to assist with outfitting work in Antwerp, as well as crew, including maritime personnel, for when the ship is in Africa. Global Mercy will operate in tandem with its sistership Africa Mercy.


Global Mercy arrive into Antwerp