At Sea :: Doulos Hope at anchor during the voyage to Bangkok, Thailand.

Doulos Hope celebrates one year

Doulos Hope: One year of public service for latest fleet vessel

Doulos Hope, the latest addition to the GBA Ships fleet, celebrates one year of service on 7 May 2024. Purchased in 2022, the vessel underwent a year of renovations before opening to the public in Singapore. Since then, the ship and her crew have visited eleven ports in five countries throughout Asia, sharing knowledge, help and hope.

Nathan Schmutz (Switzerland), director of Doulos Hope, described the past year as “an amazing journey.” 

Despite also experiencing some technical issues, Nathan reports, the challenges   crewmembers encountered “brought the community a little bit together in the sense of ‘OK, we’re in this together.”

Looking back, Nathan noted it has been a year of both shaping the identity of the onboard community and establishing the ship in her service with the public. “There’s no idea that we just want to throw out,” Nathan said. “We want to consider [everything].” 

From initiating new events, to hosting tours of the ship, the crew of Doulos Hope have been flexible and creative in working together to seek to create an impactful experience for visitors coming to see the floating bookfair for themselves. 

Doulos Hope has also impacted thousands of people on shore through crewmembers visiting nearby communities on their ‘Connect Days.’ Highlights from land include distributing water filtration buckets in Subic Bay, the Philippines, building relationships through sports with university students in Bangkok, Thailand, helping older adults in Singapore and working on a building project in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. 

During a ‘Connect Day’ visit to a community living in a landfill area in Subic Bay, the Philippines, a worker from a partner organisation, Mercy in Action, observed that Doulos Hope crewmembers “are ready to dive into every ministry, regardless of the heat, or [other challenging factors]. You are willing to extend your hands.”

A servant of hope

Previously known as The Taipan, meaning ‘boss of all bosses’, Doulos Hope means ‘servant of hope’ and strives to be just that. 

At the official opening ceremony in Penang, Malaysia, Chief Minister of Penang, Mr. Chow Kon Yeow, remarked, “Doulos Hope aims not only to enrich individuals but also to positively impact global communities and future generations.”

“I’m very encouraged,” said Nathan, recognising the ship’s potential. “Especially because I recognise that we only scratched the surface this first year.” 

GBA Ships would like to thank all those who have partnered with Doulos Hope in her first year of service. We look forward to what is still to come!