M/V Anastasis

1978-2007 (retired)

The flagship of the Mercy Ships fleet for nearly three decades, the Anastasis retired in June 2007. Formerly the Victoria, the 1953-built Italian cruise liner became a Mercy Ship in 1978. The 159-meter vessel housed three fully-equipped operating rooms, a 40-bed hospital ward, a dental clinic, a laboratory, an X-ray unit and three cargo holds. A volunteer crew of 350-400 from more than 30 nations served onboard. Over her 29 years of service, the Anastasis contributed more than half of Mercy Ships total output in terms of number of services, value and beneficiaries.

Ports Visited

The Anastasis visited 275 ports and conducted 66 field assignments in 23 nations: Guatemala, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Poland, Togo, Ghana, Estonia, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Lithuania, Senegal, Latvia, South Africa, Madagascar, Benin, The Gambia and Liberia.

Lifetime Legacy

Since 1978, the Anastasis performed more than 1,000,000 services, at a total value today of some $330 million with an estimated 1.5 million people as direct beneficiaries. Crew onboard the Anastasis:

  • performed more than 18,800 surgeries such as cleft lip and palate, cataract removal, straightening of crossed-eyes, orthopaedic and facial reconstruction.
  • treated more than 88,600 people in village medical clinics.
  • performed more then 137,000 dental treatments.
  • taught more than 4’000 local health care and professional workers, who have in turn trained many others in primary health care.
  • taught more than 59’700 local people in primary health care.
  • completed more than 540 construction and agriculture projects including schools, clinics, orphanages and water wells.


An estimated 25,000 volunteer crew members served on the Anastasis. Over 250 couples met as crew, and several weddings were held onboard, including one at sea.


Breadth 20.5m
Gross Tonnage 11,701
Built 1953 Trieste, Italy
Registered Malta
Capacity 444 berths
Cargo Capacity 3 holds/21,000m3 
Main Engines 2 Fiat diesels (8,050 hp each)
Draft 6.9m
Surveyed ByLloyds


Experience of a Swiss volunteer

Pierre, a Swiss volunteer from Geneva, shares his heart for the poor.

Perspective of Dr Gary

Dr. Gary started his volunteer carrier with Mercy Ships on board the Anastasis, our former flag vessel, in Lazero Cardenes, Mexico, in 1987.