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Transportation to airport? Local currency?

I am in the process of purchasing my flight for the upcoming trip in Guinea in Sept 2018.

When arriving at the airport in Conakry on a Sunday, does Mercy Ships provide transportation from the airport (or, how do most volunteers get from the Airport to the Ship)?

Do most volunteers exchange local currency before arriving? I will be volunteering for 2 weeks, so I don't plan to be exchanging much. I read that there is a Bank on the actual ship that accepts USD in case I needed local currency. Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks!


  • AmaandaKeyesAmaandaKeyes Posts: 7
    Hello Jamie!

    Isn't it so cool to get to go?!

    So, my experience was in Benin, but they definitely picked me up and dropped me off. And from what others said, they have pretty much always done this. You will be ok!

    It was really east to take my USD to the ship bank and get the local currency for when I wanted to go off ship. Just remember their hours and that they aren't (weren't) open on the weekend, plan accordingly, and you should be fine.

    Congratulations on Guinea!

  • Jeremy BrewerJeremy Brewer Posts: 82
    Jamie Lee‍ 

    Good morning.  I'm Jeremy, a recruiter with Mercy Ships.  I'm so excited about your upcoming service with us.

    Amanda is correct.  There is a Crew Bank on board that will assist you with conversions into local currency for when you take an adventure on shore.  I'll copy the information from the Accepted Crew page of our website below for you.

    Also, your HR Facilitator will work with the Africa Mercy to make sure there is someone to pick you up and transport you to the ship, as Amanda confirmed.  Safe and easy!

    If you have any other questions, feel free to let me know or do exactly what you are already doing and reach out to our myMercy Community.  We can't wait to hear about your upcoming service.

    Thank you for joining us as we bring hope and healing to the world's forgotten poor.

    Grace and peace,


    "Mercy Ships maintains a Crew Bank on board the ship for your use. Your Crew Bank account on the ship is internal to Mercy Ships and is not connected to any outside banking network. It simply provides a safe and convenient place to deposit your money while you are on the ship.

    Funds can be deposited in your Crew Bank account via cash, personal checks, credit card cash advance (with a 3% service fee added) or traveler’s checks. The accepted credit cards are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Debit cards are only accepted if they are backed by one of the major credit card issuers mentioned above. Only USD, British Pound, Euro and Canadian checks or traveler’s checks are accepted. Unless another account is specified, the funds you raise may also be deposited into your Crew Bank account.

    You may withdraw funds from your account for personal expenses or outings, and you may request automatic payment of crew fees. When visiting the Starbucks Café, the Snack Bar or the Ship Shop, funds can be automatically deducted from your crew bank account (provided there is a sufficient balance in your account), by scanning your Mercy Ships-issued ID badge. You may also set up an automatic withdrawal for offerings, transfer funds to another crew member or buy currency of the local country when requested in advance.

    If you wish to deposit cash to your Crew Bank account, it has to be in USD, British Pounds, Euros or the local currency. If you have other currencies, you may wish to convert them prior to arrival. You may also use the Crew Bank safe to store your valuables such as credit cards or your driver’s license.

    Shortly after arriving on the ship, you need to go to the ship’s bank to set up your account. When you depart Mercy Ships you can take the balance of your Crew Bank account with you as cash or check. US dollars are the only currency used for purchases on the ship."

  • AngelaFischerAngelaFischer Posts: 8
    Hi Jamie, 

    Did you use your own travel agent for booking your flights ? Or did you go through the suggest agent from Mercy Ships ? 

    From what hat I have read in the volunteer handbook the Mercy Ships arrange to pick you up from the airport as long as you arrive in the time frames as outlined in the handbook. 

    As for local money money I believe you can get from the ship but I think I would maybe take a small amount with me so I could purchase something if needed before arriving on the ship. 

    Good luck and safe travels 


  • Jamie LeeJamie Lee Posts: 3
    Thank you for all your responses!!

    Angela, I remembered to check out the Volunteer Guidebook that you mentioned in your post. Found it helpful! I am going to go ahead and check out their preferred airline, Brussels. (I wasn’t otherwise planning to go through a travel agency.)
  • LuzievonWurmbLuzievonWurmb Posts: 4

    I have a question to the Bank Account. When I serve with Mercy Ships and maybe I'll serve again some years later, do I have to renew the account or is it staying endlessly?

    I apologize my bad english... :-( 

    Thank you for your answer !!!

  • Hi Luzie,

    Sorry I don't know the answer to your question. I wonder if you would be best to re-post your question in a different section of the forum- it looks like you have accidentally posted at the end of someone else's unrelated question about travel. You might have more luck with appropriate/knowledgeable people reading your own query!

    Best wishes,


  • Jeremy BrewerJeremy Brewer Posts: 82
    Luzie von Wurmb‍   Good morning Luzie.  You asked an excellent question about the Crew Bank Account.  When you are set to leave the Africa Mercy to return home, typically that is when you close out your crew bank account.

    Here is a link to the Crew Bank page in Navigator that gives more details.  Also, if you have additional questions about the Crew Bank before arrival, you may also email them directly here.

    Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance, as we are happy to help!

    Grace and peace,


    General Recruiter
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