EYOS and SIMWAVE partner to deliver unique expeditions operations and ice navigation for expedition cruise ship officers

Simwave, world leading independent maritime simulator centre, and EYOS Expeditions, the world’s foremost provider of private vessel expeditions, have joined forces to create a new Polar Expedition Operations course that addresses the urgent need for polar-experienced bridge officers. 

This innovative curriculum satisfies ice navigation training for nautical officers wishing to meet the requirements of the IMO’s International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code – Basic & Advanced), which came into force in 2017.  The Polar Code is mandatory under both the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The Polar Code covers the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles.

The participants will be equipped with comprehensive skill sets that are required under the Basic & Advanced Polar Code training, including proficiency and competence in safely planning, navigating and monitoring, international & local regulations, covering the STWC code and IMO model courses. The course will take place at Simwave’s facilities outside Rotterdam, which is well known for its excellent hospitality, modern facilities and leading technology.

Simwave CEO & Founder Marcel Kind said, “At Simwave we are at the forefront of improving safety at sea. With the increase in expedition travel over the last decade, we have been focusing our attention on the polar regions. To protect the environment, the vessel and its crew, we need to raise the bar and create best-practice guidelines. Customized training is an essential part in this and together with EYOS we were able to create a new standard in polar water operations.”

EYOS Expeditions CEO Ben Lyons said, “We set out to create something different with this course. We didn’t want to just have a ‘tick the box’ exercise with scenarios that expedition ship officers would never experience or learn anything from. Throughout, we’ve put an emphasis on practical topics and realistic simulator learning combined with actual expedition operations.”

As an example, Simwave’s team modelled actual passages and landscapes that expedition ship officers are certain to navigate, including Antarctica’s famous Lemaire Channel, Paradise Bay, Port Lockroy and Palmer Station, along with fjords in Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic, including Bellot Strait. This is one of the first times Antarctica has been successfully developed in a simulator exercise, and by combining that with EYOS’ insight on expedition operations, a unique concept has been developed that will allow Simwave to define a new set of standards.

While receiving  Basic and Advanced Ice Navigation training through a combination of presentations, tabletop exercises and in-depth scenarios utilising Simwave’s state-of-the-art 360o bridge simulator, with floor projection and docking stations, participants will simulate conduct operations with small boats (Zodiacs & tenders), control their vessel near sensitive wildlife (polar bears and whales) in line with IAATO and AECO guidelines, interact with an Expedition Leader, and conduct emergency scenarios with a range of authentic weather conditions.

The Polar Code and Expedition Operations course is one of many available to cruise ship officers at Simwave. Just as in other Simwave courses (including Bridge Resource Management and Ship Handling), custom models for specific ships can be built upon request and used in the simulator to give officers the most realistic training possible on their own ships. Companies can also choose from a wide variety of other models including conventional to azimuth propulsion, allowing officers the opportunity to practice techniques on a wide range of platforms.

EYOS Expeditions’ CEO Ben Lyons said, “We are seeing unprecedented growth in the expedition cruise sector, combined with a desire for vessels to visit remote and harsh polar waters.  It used to be that junior officers learned by osmosis from long-serving captains with decades of experience. Today, there is so much demand in the cruise sector for expedition bridge officers and so many more regulatory and environmental considerations than ever before that there needs to be a new approach to training. This course will just as much prepare an officer for ice navigation as it will for the practicalities of expedition ship operations.”

About EYOS Expeditions

EYOS Expeditions ( has been designing private superyacht expeditions since 2008. The company’s co-founders have spent decades designing ground-breaking itineraries and hold several ‘world firsts’ and world records.

Widely recognised as the world leader in superyacht expeditions, EYOS was invited as a design partner by Damen shipyards to develop the SeaXplorer expedition yacht.

Co-founder Tim Soper was selected by Conde Nast Traveller as one of their Top Travel Specialists of 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020; in 2016 he planned and led the Crystal Serenity’s ground-breaking Northwest Passage expedition. Co-founder Rob McCallum has spent an entire career working in the undersea world. He ran commercial expeditions to the RMS Titanic, to the battleship Bismarck and provided key logistical support to James Cameron’s ‘Deep Challenge’ record-breaking dive in 2012. In 2019, he led the Five Deeps Expedition, which was described as the most ambitious expedition this century and took one man to the deepest point in each of the five oceans.

About Simwave

Simwave acts as a highly specialised and multi-disciplinary knowledge centre for the maritime industry which uses state-of-the-art simulators, works with the best professionals and all our services meet the highest standards.  Simwave is making the maritime industry safer by developing, delivering and supporting (outsourced) solutions with maritime (simulator) training and assessment, allowing companies of all sizes to use simulators for training, assessments and applied research, whenever needed and to customers’ needs.

Simwave operates over 59 connected simulators for Bridge, Engine & Liquified cargo handling.