Crystal River Cruises Becomes the First River Cruise Company to Use Simulation for Captain Training


Crystal River Cruises will be the first in the river cruise industry whose captains will complete their training and assessments in a simulator. The training will take place at the Simwave simulator center in the Netherlands as part of an agreement between Netherlands-based Simwave and Crystal parent company Genting Hong Kong, when the simulator is completed in November.

Rendering courtesy of Crystal Cruises

Beyond the actual hardware and technology of the simulator, a Development Captain will oversee training programs for Crystal river captains. The Development Captain is entirely dedicated to creating and executing extensive training curriculum.

“Crystal is committed to setting new standards of excellence in every facet of the Crystal experiences around the world, with the expertise of our captains and officers being of chief importance to the safety and security of our guests,” says Crystal CEO and president, Edie Rodriguez. “Innovation and groundbreaking technology are integral to the beautiful new river yachts joining the Crystal River Cruises’ fleet, and we’re thrilled to extend that innovation to the training of our officers.”

The simulator’s 3D mathematical model is designed by Simwave’s mathematical modeling & research department, using actual specs from the Crystal vessels to accurately implement handling characteristics for real-world situation training. The bridge layout and design are also based on Crystal’s river ships, ensuring that captains are fully familiar with the components of the vessels before they come aboard. While Crystal’s first river ship, Crystal Mozart, is the only river ship in operation that employs two captains manning the navigation bridge at all times, the river simulator accommodates a second captain to train in emergency relief situations aboard the “Rhine Class” ships.

The bridge simulator includes nine vertically-mounted displays that are integrated with the globally unique mission engine room. The horizontal field of view is 240 degrees and the vertical field of view is 47 degrees, giving the optimal high density pixel count for safe sailing. “Due to the details in the visual scene like ropes, navigation objects, etc. it is of great importance that the sharpness and details in the visual system be high quality,” explains Joost van Ree, co-founder of Simwave. “This makes it possible to simulate scenarios in complex environments more realistically.”

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