Carnival Corporation & plc today announced the official opening of its Arison Maritime Center, a world-class facility dedicated to providing safety training for its bridge and engineering officers responsible for the navigation and operation of the company’s fleet of cruise ships.
Located in Almere, Netherlands just outside Amsterdam, the new 75-million-euro facility features some of industry’s most advanced simulators and training equipment to provide annual training to more than 6,500 bridge and engineering officers from Carnival’s 10 global cruise line brands.
The center, featured in the June 2016 edition
of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News
, was officially opened with a ceremony honoring longtime board chairman Micky Arison and his father Ted, founder of the company, that was attended by many of Carnival’s global leaders, board members and government, community and business officials.
The centerpiece of the seven-acre campus is a new – and more than two-times-larger – Center for Simulator Maritime Training Academy (CSMART), Carnival Corporation’s maritime training, professional development and research facility that began operations in Almere in 2009. The center will feature high-tech bridge and engine room simulators from Transas that utilize the most innovative technology and training solutions in the maritime industry, modeled closely after the technology and practices used in the airline and other industries, the result of almost two-years of R&D investment.
Carnival recognized that a step-change was required in the way seafarers are trained to improve safety at sea, according to Transas. The interaction of human factors on board cruise vessels are some of the most complex in the maritime industry. Crews empowered with a solid foundation of generic core competencies ensure significantly better safety outcomes than those that rely heavily on established roles and procedures.
The CSMART facility houses navigational and engine room simulators in various configurations from classroom stations up to part-task and full mission solutions, interlinked to provide training and assessment for the entire crew. It features four full-mission bridge simulators and four full-mission engine room simulators designed to provide a wide array of programming and simulated exercises that can recreate an extensive range of maritime scenarios. The new five-story facility will also include 24 part-task engine simulators, eight debriefing rooms and eight part-task bridge simulators – all designed to provide participants access to the visual elements of 60 ports around the world including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Singapore and Glacier Bay, Alaska.
Through cooperation with Dell, Transas reduced the number of physical machines by 77 percent from 650 to 150 and cut energy consumption by 30 percent compared to a traditional deployment by the virtualisation of simulation tasks into nVidia Grid System.
Full interswitching capabilities where any task can be available on any screen within the Simulator (Blackbox IP-matrix) allow for a zero percent downtime which was one of the key requirements due to a to high volume throughput of seafarers with defined limited training windows.
CCTV camera technology, similar to the one used at the ESA Space Centre, observes and records everything on the bridges and in the engine room to allow full picture team training. Access is available to any task on any screen within the simulator while the CCTV provides professional broadcast, AV control, recording and archiving system with full synchronization of all workstations, cameras and audio.
To ensure realistic team situational training for engine room and machinery functions, Transas has implemented high tech 'gamification' technology with 3D Engine compartments walk-through including usage of avatars controlled via large touchscreens or gaming controller. The trainee moves avatar through the machinery compartments and can act as a team with other trainees in case of emergency procedures.
The state-of-the-art technology provides high-quality maritime training services that reflect real-world scenarios and sea conditions including ship traffic, aircraft interference, weather events and wildlife circumvention. Modeled after the newly designed bridge of the Koningsdam from the company’s Holland America Line, CSMART Academy’s full-mission bridge simulators provide an authentic shipboard experience for participants to build skills in navigating complex control and automation systems.
Like the bridge simulators, the full-mission engine room simulators are based on actual ship layouts and systems, scaled to size and representing a diesel electric engine room comprising six diesel generators and two propulsion motors, along with ancillary and auxiliary equipment. The simulators allow trainees to navigate their way around the actual engine room of a ship to operate and repair equipment, with the genuine sights, sounds and even temperatures found in a cruise ship’s engine room.
Transas CEO Frank Coles commented, “The CSMART project is an important milestone in the Transas history. We are proud of what has been achieved in such a short time through our close work with the Carnival Corporation, the CSMART team and our project partners. By applying technological advancements never before utilised within the maritime industry, Transas have created a multi-simulator integrated training that delivers an immersive real world situational environment in which multiple crew members can operate and interact simultaneously, as if on a real vessel. This is the standard by which all training should be measured”.
The new facility and team of highly experienced CSMART Academy instructors have developed a curriculum that sets the industry standard for safety and maritime training and keeps pace with advances in ship technology, fostering critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making and confidence.
The CSMART Academy has played a leading role in developing and refining a function- and team-based bridge and engine room management system on a large scale. This approach is based on roles rather than ranks, with officers operating as a coordinated team, with each officer assigned a role for specific functions. It also includes encouraging team members of all ranks and seniority to speak up to challenge or question a decision.
In keeping with the faculty team's leadership, the Arison Maritime Center will provide the additional space needed to implement the industry's first Proficiency Training and Assessment (PTA) program. The week-long course is based on a specially developed curriculum that annually refreshes and then evaluates each of the corporation's maritime officers.
With its scale, technology and equipment, and innovative training approach, the new facility will be the most progressive maritime center of its kind in the world for training and continually improving industry-wide safety and excellence.
“The opening of the new Arison Maritime Center and expansion of our CSMART Academy is a major milestone in our company’s history and an exciting day for all of us at Carnival Corporation,” said David Christie, senior vice president of maritime quality assurance for Carnival Corporation. “The safety and comfort of our guests and crew is our most important priority, and the Arison Maritime Center underscores the depth of our commitment to making sure our ships sail as safely as possible. Our bridge and engineering officers are the heart and soul of our ship operations, and this center takes to a new level our dedication to providing our officers with the maritime industry’s most comprehensive and progressive safety training.”
Added Christie, “With 10 cruise line brands sailing 11 million guests a year to over 700 ports around the world, we take tremendous pride in having a team of highly trained, skilled and prepared officers operating the bridges and engine rooms on our ships. With the new Arison Maritime Center and CSMART Academy officially up and running, our tradition of excellence and continuous improvement in safety training is stronger than ever.”
At 110,000 square feet, the environmentally friendly facility is more than double the size of the company’s current facility, allowing Carnival Corporation to provide annual training to over 6,500 officers and engineers across the company’s 10 cruise line brands. It will also include an advanced medical center and an 11-story, 176-room hotel for Carnival Corporation trainees.
Following a speech by Carnival Corporation’s CEO Arnold Donald at today’s ceremony, the center was dedicated to honor the legacy of the Arisons, the first family of cruising. Micky Arison has been chairman of the board of directors for Carnival Corporation & plc since 1990. He began his career at Carnival Cruise Line in 1972 and was appointed chairman of Carnival Corporation in 1990, a title he still holds today. Considered one of the most respected leaders and experts in the cruise industry, Arison's vision and leadership played the central role in building Carnival Corporation into the world's largest cruise company and helping grow cruising from a niche holiday to one of the most popular vacation experiences available.
His late father, Ted Arison, founded the company in 1972 with one ship with the firm belief that cruising is one of the best ways to enjoy a vacation and a commitment to making cruising available to people from all walks of life. Referred to by The New York Times as "the godfather of the modern cruise industry," he is credited with building cruise operations that give travelers the opportunity to enjoy a cruise vacation with prices that range from affordable to upscale. Today, the company has 101 ships, over 120,000 employees and welcomes 11 million guests annually. About one of every two travelers who go on a cruise vacation do so on a Carnival Corporation ship.
The official grand opening of the center was commemorated today with a ceremony, tours and a celebration at the facility attended by Carnival Corporation’s global leadership team and board members as well as government officials, including Maarten Camps, secretary general of the ministry of economic affairs for the Netherlands, and Franc Weerwind, Mayor of Almere.
Carnival Corporation worked with Dutch property group AMVEST Vastgoed B.V. to purchase the seven-acre plot of land in Almere Poort called the DUIN, a planned business and residential community in Almere, one of Europe's newest and fastest growing cities. The center's campus and buildings were designed by Dutch architect Paul de Ruiter, and the Dutch construction company Dura Vermeer built the CSMART Academy and hotel. The design and construction were built to meet rigorous environmental and sustainability standards that will achieve "LEED Gold" certification, and the campus will fit esthetically into the Duin environment, per AMVEST'S original plan for the development.
Carnival Corporation and the Arison Maritime Center, including the CSMART Academy, produce a significant economic impact in Almere and the greater Amsterdam region. It is estimated that Carnival Corporation and the Arison Maritime Center will generate an annual estimated economic impact of up to 17.5 million euros for the local community and region.