Royal Caribbean relies on Simwave to provide cruises without unexpected events
The Dutch company’s 59 simulators were chosen to train 500 workers of the American cruise company
Rotterdam – Following the recent accident occurred on Viking Ocean Cruises’ cruise ship Viking Sky off Norway’s coast, cruise staff training has become increasingly important, also in light of the “significant growth” expected for the cruise sector in upcoming years, and this view is shared also by Royal Caribbean senior vice presidents of marine operations Gregory Purdy and Patrik Dahlgren.
Besides, trained staff, especially where training is not provided for by the industry’s regulations, “motivates our personnel and makes us more competitive”, Dahlgren and Royal Caribbean vice president of maritime safety, environment & health Tracy Murrell acknowledged.
For this reason, they decided to collaborate with the Dutch company Simwave, established last April in Barendrecht (Rotterdam) to combine organizational resources with human ones in order to ensure full productivity. “In the past 20 years, we witnessed an increase of investments in technology which required the development of human resources”, managing director Marcel Kind explained.
Therefore, Simwave developed a centre with 59 simulators across a 5,000 sm area to provide training for bridge and engine room management (simulators reproduce some 70 vessels with their related propulsion systems), dynamic position, manoeuvres (along rivers, among ice floes, among tropical islands), refuelling, handling, communications as well as team building services and personnel evaluation for corporate career and collaboration with port authorities purposes.
During its first year of activities, Simwave trained a thousand workers of a dozen shipping companies, including also Shell.
Its centre has a dozen in-house instructors and another 20-30 external ones who, based on a previously agreed program, provide courses (from 1 to 5 days) to classes of 8 persons, under the supervision of a briefing room, for a maximum of 8 hours per day (at the end of the course each participant is evaluated).
Having trained up to 10 classes in a single day, the structure provides the opportunity to connect several simulators in order to allow customers to evaluate the simultaneous management of all the ship’s aspects (however, Simwave does not recommend simulations coordinated between the various departments with more than 40 trainees).
Moreover, through its team in Vietnam, it can reproduce any ships (subject to the provision of their technical specifications on the customer’s part), ports (data must be provided by port authorities), weather conditions (several simulators can reproduce sea rolling) and situations (including shipwreck, fire and evacuation). They can configurate any specific ship in three months (a model of the vessel Ovation of the Sea is displayed at the entrance of the Dutch centre).
Simwave provides also a cheaper solution through standard simulations of the various types of vessels (from yachts to tankers).
Being Simwaves’ partner since January, Royal Caribbean is not the only cruise company to use the Dutch firm’s services – though “safety is not the object of competition”, rather of cooperation, Purdy assured – and in 2019 it will train 400-500 workers employed on the 60 ships that it manages in the Dutch centre (including also the crew of the unit Silversea purchased in 2018).
The favourite training courses of the Miami-based company are bridge and engine room management as the company’s top management places great importance on crews training.
Focusing mainly on personnel training concerning the most technical aspects of their vessels, they achieved positive results. In fact, also in light of a survey among those who have already been in Barendrecht, the company’s management declared that they “want to provide services to firms within the cruise sector”.