Finances for Volunteers

Volunteers with Mercy Ships are responsible for paying all costs associated with their service, including crew fees, travel expenses, passports, immunizations, insurance and personal expenses.  Because of this commitment, Mercy Ships is able to use direct contributions from its supporters to bring hope and healing to the poorest of the poor.

Crew members typically pay for their service by raising support from family, friends and churches or by saving money for their time onboard. A financial-health service for crew members – Financial Accountability, Coaching and Encouragement (FinACE) – helps volunteers develop a budget, determine the best ways to fund their service, and provide support raising tools, including a personal support raising web page.


The two largest expenses you can expect to incur while serving with Mercy Ships are your travel to and from the ship and your monthly crew fees (room and board). The current crew fee schedule is listed below and is subject to change.

Service Commitment Crew Fee Rate
Less than 3 Months $700 US
3 – 12 months $630 US
12 – 23 Months $525 US
2-3+ Years $350 US

Mercy Ships gives a 50% discount for those individuals serving from developing nations (ranked by the United Nations). Returning alumni are also afforded a discount.

Depending on your personal needs and habits, short term crew should budget $150 – $200 per month for personal expenses. Crew serving 24+ months might need to consider other factors, such as travel savings, tithes, clothing, etc.

Health insurance is required of all crew serving more than 24 months and may cost $30-$300 per month, depending on the coverage you elect and other factors. Emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance is included in the crew fee cost for crew serving less than 24 months.


Exclusive of travel(amounts in us dollars)

Single Couple Family
Serving less than 24 months $900 $1700 N/A
Serving more than 24 months $1200 $1900 $2200 + Kids


For any other information you might need regarding the cost of serving with Mercy Ships, please email [email protected].