Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) today announced plans for the development and construction of the Norwegian Cruise Line Center of Excellence, a new shipboard seafarer training facility near Manila in the Philippines.
NCLH said that the 200,000-square-foot facility will serve both new and existing shipboard team members across the company and will provide training for various onboard service areas. The training campus will enable the company to fully immerse trainees in their coursework, reduce onboard training time and further improve upon service levels.
The facilities have been designed to provide trainees with realistic work and living experiences aboard a cruise ship, which will include replicas of staterooms, galley, casino floor, full service bar as well as safety and security training areas. Slated for 2020 completion, the center will provide annual training for as many as 8,000 shipboard team members each year.
“As the company continues to grow and execute on our disciplined newbuild pipeline with eleven ships on order through 2027, the Center of Excellence will enable us to train and develop shipboard staff to meet the growing demand for top talent and to provide our guests with the high level of service and best-in-class vacation experience they have come to expect,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, in a prepared statement.
NCLH has secured a 7.2 acre parcel of land near Manila, where it plans to develop the center. Construction is scheduled to begin this year with the facility slated to open its doors in late 2020.
The company’s three cruise brands currently source approximately 65 percent of their shipboard talent from Southeast Asia and anticipates an even higher demand for personnel from the region in the coming years. The central location of the Philippines, as well as its high percentage of multi-lingual citizens, has proven to be an ideal location for the training and development facility, NCLH stated.