Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin made a special visit to the MSA Solent on Sunday 15th September to open the centre officially with a ribbon cutting ceremony. During the visit, Branson tested the simulators for himself and met some of the Crew who will be sailing and training at the centre for Virgin Voyages.
The Viking Maritime Group (have worked in conjunction with Virgin Voyages and the passenger industry to build and create one of the most prestigious and modern, forward thinking simulation centres in the world. On the South Coast of the UK, The Maritime Skills Academy have developed two training centres, one for safety training in Dover, Kent and most recently one for simulator training in Portsmouth, Hampshire. The MSA Solent provides the Virgin Voyages Crew with a fresh and culturally-attuned environment and is where over the coming years, the company’s crew will train and enhance in their skills running through Bridge Resource Management, Ship Handling, ECDIS, Engine Room Management, High Voltage and many other courses created in line with Virgin Voyages’ procedures.
MSA Solent is the world’s only commercial training centre to have a fully integrated Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum system within the full mission bridge simulator and associated course provision, including full vision bridge wings and interactive tactical tables.
MSA Solent is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art centre. The simulation facilities have been created in partnership with global maritime simulation leaders, Wärtsilä (formerly known as Transas Marine).
The key sector focus for clients at MSA Solent will be the passenger industries (cruise, superyacht and passenger ferries) which have increased the call for more simulator training. Major customers who are already looking to train here are Windstar Cruises, Marella, V-Ships, DFDS, Port of Dover.
MSA Dover will also see the Virgin Voyages Crew from around Europe visiting as Viking Maritime Group were selected as the sole provider of all basic, advanced and updating STCW safety training courses.
The centre houses an environmental survival pool, fire training centre with a command & Control module, lifeboat centre and engineering workshops.
New to the MSA Dover, is the UK’s first commercial Command & Control Safety centre and Damage Control modules. Operational exercises in fire training using the safety centre mirror onboard passenger scenarios and techniques. The Damage modules are where crew are put through their paces in a stark and challenging environment to repair leaks, splits and learn the practical and theoretical ways to reduce water ingress.
Viking Maritime Group in brief:
Viking Maritime Group is leading the way as a maritime services company and operates in the United Kingdom, USA, New Zealand and the Philippines.
Founded in 1988, today the company encompasses a diverse group of businesses including; Viking Crew, the leading maritime crew services provider; MSA the dover and Solent based maritime skills academys; and, Chiltern Maritime, the UK’s top merchant navy cadetship provider.
Across the company there is alignment and synergy in our ethos, in putting people first, and helping support and develop the talent and expertise within the global maritime industry.