There are many factors involved in organising a ship visit. This includes invitations from authorities, expected weather conditions and if other destinations in the region are also ready to welcome our ships. Unfortunately it is not always possible to accept every request and invitation. Please see the future schedule to see where the ship will be heading in the next few months.
Volunteers from around 60 different countries serve on board the ships. They are mostly young people who have chosen to dedicate two years of their lives to be on board, learning to live and work together and serving the communities in the ports visited. Additionally, our ships have a full complement of qualified crew, as required by international maritime regulations.
Applicants must be over 18 years of age and in full agreement with the beliefs and values of OM Ships International. If you would like to apply, please find out more here.
All OM Ships staff are volunteers. No one – including the captain – is paid a salary. Each one on board has to raise financial support to cover the expenses of their time of service.
While the ships are classed as passenger ships, in reality there are no passengers. The crewmembers on board our ships are serving as volunteers, usually for a two-year term of service. Life and work on board is an intensive but very rewarding experience. Find out more about joining.
About one third of the funding comes from the sale of books and non-book items (such as souvenirs) in the onboard bookfair. Another third comes from the financial support of personnel volunteering with us provided by friends, family and other supporters. The rest comes from gifts and donations given by individuals, trusts, foundations and community groups. Our organisation is not a government or corporate funded enterprise. Some local corporate sponsorship in the ports of call helps to reduce port and publicity expenses.
OM Ships is a non-profit venture. Income received through donations or sales on board is used to fund port visit costs, vessel expenses, personnel needs and administration.
The experience and dedication of the ship’s crewmembers, often working long hours, helps keep our vessel shipshape. Our ships also undergo regular dry docking to ensure that the fabric of the vessel is kept up to the highest standard.
The ships are operated by GBA Ships e.V. (Good Books for All) – a registered trust in Germany.