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Carnival Corp. names vast, new training center after the Arison family

The center's seven-acre campus houses the CSMART Academy, featuring advanced simulator technology, and a hotel for trainees
Carnival Corp. & plc is naming its new maritime training center in the Netherlands the Arison Maritime Center to honor chairman Micky Arison and company founder Ted Arison. A grand opening is scheduled for July 14.

Located in Almere, just outside Amsterdam, the Arison Maritime Center will be home to the CSMART Academy, providing simulator training for deck and engineering officers. Forming the centerpiece of the new seven-acre campus, the CSMART Academy, the Center for Simulator Maritime Training for Carnival plc, features advanced bridge and engine room simulator technology and equipment, with enough space to complete rigorous annual professional training for the company's deck and engineering officers for its 10 global cruise brands.

The center is intended to foster industry-wide safety and excellence. At nearly 110,000 square feet, it is more than double the size of the company's current facility, which has operated in Almere since 2009. The CSMART Academy at the Arison Maritime Center 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 five-story center will also include 24 part-task engine simulators, eight debriefing rooms and eight part-task bridge simulators. The campus will have double the training capacity of the existing location and is expected to train more than 6,500 deck and engineering officers annually. It will also include an advanced medical center and an 11-story, 176-room hotel for Carnival Corp. trainees.

'When complete, the Arison Maritime Center and CSMART Academy will be an extraordinary operation dedicated to providing our deck and technical officers—the heart and soul of ensuring our ships operate as safely as possible—with the most advanced and progressive training, professional development and research in the cruise and maritime industry,' said David Christie, svp maritime quality assurance for Carnival Corp.

'Safety is our top priority and we take great pride in providing the world's most comprehensive maritime safety training to our highly skilled and dedicated deck and engineering officers in our pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement,' Christie added. 'This center underscores the depth of our commitment to the safety and comfort of our guests who sail with us to over 700 ports around the world.'

With the exterior of the facility in place and the on-campus hotel having reached its peak height, the final phase of construction consists chiefly of the installation of the technology and the simulators. The facility was handed over to Carnival Corp. at a ceremony in April. A larger event featuring Carnival Corp. global leadership and international dignitaries is scheduled for July 14.

The function-based training system creates what is known as organizational redundancy—giving every member of the bridge and engine room teams a voice and role in safely operating the ship and encouraging officers at all levels to speak up. Officers work under the captain's and chief engineer's direction as a coordinated team to manage bridge and engine rooms based on specific functions, with tasks verbalized, agreed upon and then executed.

In keeping with the faculty's leadership, the Arison Maritime Center will provide the additional space needed to implement what's touted as the industry's first Proficiency Training and Assessment 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.

Carnival Corp. worked with Dutch property group AMVEST Vastgoed to purchase the seven acres in Almere called the Duin, a planned business and residential community in 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 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 plan for the development.