Carnival Corporation & plc has announced the official opening of the Arison Maritime Center, its world-class facility dedicated to providing rigorous safety training for its bridge and engineering officers responsible for the navigation and operation of the world’s largest fleet of cruise ships.
The new 75-million-euro facility in Almere, Netherlands, just outside Amsterdam, was celebrated with a ceremony honoring long time board chairman Micky Arison and his father Ted, founder of the company, that was attended by the company’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 world-renown maritime training, professional development and research facility that began operations in Almere in 2009. The center will feature bridge and engine room simulators 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 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.
The CSMART Academy will feature 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.
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.
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.
Honoring the ongoing legacy of the Arison family
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.
An investment in the Netherlands
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 aesthetically 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.