Virgin Voyages Crew – 2019 Training at MSA Dover

As 2019 comes to an end and the exciting times of 2020 are upon us, we look back at the training held at The Maritime Skills Academy (MSA) for the new crew of Virgin Voyages (VV) Scarlet Lady which will be setting sail in February 2020.

2019 was an incredibly busy year for MSA Dover and MSA Solent as the Viking Maritime Group secured the contract to train VV crew. This included Advanced Fire Fighting, Command & Control, Damage Control, STCW Basic and STCW Advanced training. The simulation training courses held at MSA Solent included BRM 1 and 2, ERM 1, Stability, Platinum ECDIS, Podded Propulsion and High Voltage. MSA Solent was spectacularly opened in September by Sir Richard Branson.

MSA are also assisting in the cultural training which sees crew learn and understand the ethos around Virgin Voyages and know how to be part of the new and exciting cruise brand.

In August, MSA Dover saw the first groups of VV Crew attend the centre and complete a 4-day MCA Advanced Fire Fighting course (1-day Command Control and 3-day Damage Control).

MSA Dover has had significant investment to include new modules for Command & Control and Damage Control training. The command centre reflects the safety centre or bridge of a passenger vessel, with crew able to monitor CCTV and respond/direct passengers through crisis situations that could occur in emergencies. The Damage Control module is the UK’s first commercially operated for the merchant shipping industry. The module has been specifically designed to provide crew with a real-life experience, allowing sufficient water flow and pressures whilst in a safe training environment. This is used in conjunction to the command and safety centre, with full CCTV in operation throughout.

The aim of the course is to replicate and mirror onboard ship scenarios where flooding has taken place throughout compartments onboard. This would include pipe ruptures, hull cracks, buckled hatches, bilge pipe failures and penetrating holes. This is taught through a number of practical exercises, in addition to theory-based classroom work. This includes containment and stability management, providing delegates with sound knowledge of damage control.

Over the last 4 months of 2019 MSA Dover hosted 5 sessions, training a total of 58 VV crew in AFF, Command & Control and Damage Control.

This included all Service, Housekeeping and Interior crew for Virgin Voyages, who have been employed across Europe to work in many of the areas onboard in the Hotel department.

Many different nationalities and cultures have come together to train and be part of the new and exciting ethos of Virgin Voyages. A large number have never sailed on cruise vessels and require the full STCW 4-part basic safety training, which is run over 5 days and comprises of Elementary First Aid, Personal Survival Techniques, PSSR, Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting and Security Awareness.

A total of 104 crew attended 7 courses across September, October, November and December in 2019, preparing them for a career with Virgin Voyages.

2020 will see

a full calendar of Virgin Voyages training take place, even after

the Scarlet Lady is launched in February, we will then prepare for the sister ship, Valiant Lady!

Mark Jaenicke Training and Performance Director Viking Maritime Group – “We are proud to be leading Virgin Voyages with their safety culture and preparing the Rockstar Crew for their careers with one of the most exciting and most eagerly anticipated cruise brands to in the industry. The level of commitment they have shown throughout the first stages of training is a just great to witness. We are looking forward to many years supporting Virgin Voyages”.

Viking Maritime Group:

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 academy’s 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.