Some frequently asked questions about
Purposeful Africa

Are there any physical limitations for participating? The ship is not ADA qualified , and you cannot roll into the guest rooms and bathrooms. If you can use a walker, you can participate in almost all shipboard activities and some of the shore touring and missions work.

I’d love to join this journey, but I don’t want to travel by myself. Can you find me a roommate? We often have people who need roommates, and are happy to try to accommodate them by pairing them with others of the same gender. We can’t guarantee a roommate, but frankly, we have usually managed to find one for everybody, especially those who sign up early!

I like to travel with other people, but I prefer a room to myself. Can I arrange that?
Yes, you will pay 160% of the fare for most cabins, or 200% if you want a suite to yourself.

What’s the food like? Most of the chefs on our ship are European and all trained in top culinary centers. They specialize in healthy Mediterranean fare and seafood with lots of pastas, fruits, vegetables and pastries.

I have some health issues. What facilities are available in case of emergencies? Our ship has onboard hospital facilities. In addition, because our journey has a unique attraction for medical personnel, we’ll often have medically trained people within our group; and on some segments, we’ll be near Mercy Ships. We do also recommend to all of our passengers on all segments that they consider specialized emergency medical evacuation insurance.
Contact us for more information about this option.

Do I need immunizations? The answer depends on several things, mostly on which segments you’re choosing. Occasionally a country will require that inbound visitors have a certain immunization. In addition, your own doctor may recommend certain preventive measures, such as tetanus shots or malaria pills. Your local health department can advise you of requirements for the specific countries you want to visit.

Do I need a passport? Yes, the countries we’ll visit will require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months beyond your anticipated return date. If you have questions about obtaining or renewing your passport, contact Living Passages or access the website for the U.S. Department of State. Because of recent changes in documentation requirements within the U.S., the passport application process has been taking much longer than in previous years. Therefore, consider applying right away.

What is a visa? Will I need one? A visa is the official permission a country gives allowing you to visit. Requirements vary depending upon both the country to be visited and also on the country of your own citizenship. Most of the countries we’ll visit will require a visa for U.S. citizens, and Living Passages can assist you in obtaining one. Note: to obtain a visa, you first need a passport!

Since some part of this trip is considered “mission” work, is it tax deductible? Often, when volunteers pay their own way on missions, part of the cost is deductible. The best advisor for this question is your tax accountant.

What are the accommodations like? All of the cabins are well appointed with everything you would normally find on a luxury cruise ship. Some cabins have mini refrigerators, all have twin or double beds, toiletries, air conditioning, private in-suite bathrooms (most with showers, some tubs) and 110 volt electricity (the same as in the U.S.).

Can I take my children? Yes, children of all ages are welcome. There is a biblically-based children’s program onboard.

How do I arrange for air transportation? 90 days prior to departure, you will hear from our air department. They will work with you on your individual needs and advise of stopovers and business class or first-class upgrade options.

Will I have any shopping time? Yes, you will have unique shopping excursions to purchase local art and artifacts. We will work with local ministries as well to develop their local trade.

You mention insurance. What kind of coverage is included? Living Passages offers (and strongly encourages) two types of protection options:
A. Inclusive trip insurance that can protect against financial loss due to cancellation penalties, emergency medical expense, emergency changes after departure, baggage loss, etc.
B. Especially attractive to our clients who travel to “remote” areas is membership with MedJetAssist, a pre-paid air medical transportation group. Living Passages can extend good rates (approximately $160, depending on the length of your journey, age, and other factors). This service has become well known for its medical evacuation/transportation services world-wide.

I’m a pastor and would be blessed if I could take part in this program. Do you have any special options for pastors? Living Passages welcomes you and understands that pastors often are on extremely limited budgets. We’ve created a program especially to encourage you in your work and your desire to commune with other workers in foreign pastures. Please email us for more details.

How does this tour fit in with “eco-tourism”? Living Passages supports, in practice as well as in theory, the concepts of conserving local environments and enhancing the well-being of the local citizens. We try to deal with local providers, use local products, and base our teachings and touring on the assumption that our travelers, in addition to having a heart to help, want to learn about the history and culture of the areas we visit by experiencing first-hand and sharing time and life with local peoples. We want to tread mightily in the hearts of those we meet, and tread lightly on the environment in which they live.