Who we are

YWAM Ships Aotearoa exists to serve the isolated islands and remote shoreline villages through health and healing services.


Serving the isolated

Medical Ships New Zealand (dba YWAM Ships Aotearoa) was founded in 2016 and immediately took over an in-class science research icebreaker vessel that was called the m/v Astrolabe, since renamed the m/v YWAM LIBERTY.

2017 and 2018 have been foundational years for us at YWAM Ships Aotearoa. We opened up our base of operations in New Zealand and began partnering with both YWAM Ships Kona and YWAM Medical Ships Norway in order to start serving Papua New Guinea (PNG) in July 2018.

YWAM Ships Aotearoa was set up to create support for and provide a pathway for New Zealanders to serve as volunteers on board our ships in a variety of positions. Marine, Medical and general volunteers. We open doors for average kiwis to serve in extraordinary ways at home and abroad. We hope everyone, at some time in their life, to have the opportunity to give back and serve those less fortunate than ourselves!

YWAM Ships Aotearoa oversees the technical fleet support, manning, interfacing with government, fundraising, surveyors and arranging vessel details for the ports of call all around Bougainville.
Our newest vessel, the m/v YWAM LIBERTY is currently the only ship in the global YWAM fleet that can carry containers, so we are very excited to see what innovative solutions can be discovered in service to isolated islands around the world.

Youth With A Mission (YWAM), as a global movement has operated ships since 1978. YWAM now has over 2,000 locations globally including a university system called the University of the Nations, which teaches in 98 languages.