V. Ship Leisure’s scale, flexibility, high standards and attentiveness provides value for their customers, says Per Bjornsen
What services has V.Ships Leisure provided for Mystic Cruises’ new World Explorer and why did the company choose you as a partner?
V.Ships Leisure (part of V. Group) has supplied management services for deck, engine, and hotel crew for the hybrid-powered World Explorer, which is Mystic Cruises’ first newbuild expedition ship. We have a proven track record of supporting crew management in the expedition markets – our scale, flexibility, high standards and attention to detail provide true value to our customers. We have the world’s biggest network of recruitment centres spread across the globe, the largest independent roster of crew in the cruise industry, and our own training centres for deck, engine and hotel crew.
What are the benefits of outsourcing management services to a third party like V.Ships Leisure?
V.Group provides services to all the major cruise groups and over 100 cruise vessels. From manning, e-learning, language testing and crew travel, to lube oil analysis and project management of scrubber installation, we can cover all aspects of the cruise business. Our scale allows us to invest in great systems, the best talent and centres of excellence – and it provides us with significant purchasing power so our customers can flex their fleet size without worrying about costs. Meanwhile, our global reach means we can respond quickly to the needs of our seafarers, customers and the vessels we manage, wherever they are. Plus, we continually invest in new technologies, such as our ShipSure 2.0 app, which gives our clients insights into procurement, crew lists, certification and accounts.
How do you attract and retain highly skilled crew members for your passenger shipping clients?
V.Ships Leisure has been investing in our network of recruiters for 20 years and our new Project Embark is allowing us to drive cost efficiencies and improve vessel performance, while enhancing life at sea for crew. We’ve created an app for seafarers that digitises the processes of searching for assignments, signing contracts and managing documentation and our seafarers have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
Arctic expedition cruises are growing more popular, so operators need senior deck officers with mandatory Polar Code certification and experience of navigating ice. V.Group’s e-learning expert Marlins has developed an interactive e-learning programme for the basic part of Polar Code certification, which is approved by the Bahamas flag registry. We use this to train many deck officers and better prepare them for the advanced part of the certification, which must be taken at a training institute and supplemented by sea time.
Will you be providing crew management services to any other passenger ship operators over the next 12 months?
We’re providing technical management services for Antarctica21’s Magellan Explorer, which will offer fly-cruises in Antarctica from late 2019. Plus, we’ll supply the ShipSure 2.0 digital platform and a suite of management services for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s three ultra-luxury cruise yachts. Services will include crew sourcing, marine procurement, and technical and compliance support.
A record number of newbuilds will start service this year and new players are continually joining the market. Our dedicated cruise brand is uniquely placed to provide unparalleled services and technical capabilities to support the industry through this unprecedented period of rapid development.
This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
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