MSA Solent Simulation Centre Portsmouth

MSA Solent

Specialised and customised simulation solutions to deliver high-quality and most effective continuous professional development courses in the industry.

Case Study: MSA Solent

On 16th September 2019, Viking Maritime Group (VMG) launched its new MSA Solent Simulation Centre in Portsmouth, England, to provide specialist and customised simulation training in dedicated support of the maritime industries. The simulation technology is provided by Wärtsilä group. This state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility offers a broad range of full-mission bridge and engine room simulation courses, including key resource management and ship handling courses (under either normal or abnormal/emergency operating conditions), as well as assessment of officers for pre-recruitment, proficiency or promotion purposes.

MSA Solent’s team chose to engage with Wärtsilä solutions on the development of the centre’s simulation facilities as there had already been extensive experience of using the company’s products and the ongoing support for hardware and software provided by the company. A further factor was the development of a strategic partnership with Wärtsilä Voyage Solutions, which will look beyond the establishment of MSA Solent towards potential future projects driven by the rapid evolution of the passenger industry. This in turn led to the decision to co-locate the MSA Solent Simulation Centre in the same building as Wärtsilä solutions within the Lakeside business park in Portsmouth UK.

MSA Solent is the world’s only commercial training centre to have a fully integrated Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum system within the full mission bridge simulator and associated course provision. Together, MSA Solent and Wärtsilä aim to deliver the high-standards and culturally attuned training provision needed to support delivering the safest and most efficient standards in the industry.

MSA Solent simulator facilities and equipment are fully adaptable to replicate a variety of real-world Bridge and Engine Room scenarios, including cruise, ferry, superyacht and many other vessel types. A comprehensive range of courses aids the personal and professional development of delegates in subject areas such as human element, resource management and ship manoeuvring, as well as the specific development of senior Deck and Marine Engineering officers. There is also High Voltage and ECDIS course provision in line with STCW certification requirements or manufacturer’s type-specific ECDIS course requirements for both NACOS Platinum and Navisailor 4000.


Key sectors

The key sector focus for clients at MSA Solent will be the passenger industries (cruise, superyacht and passenger ferries) which have increased the demand for more specialist simulator training. Major customers who are already training here include Virgin Voyages, Windstar Cruises, MSC Cruises, amongst other cruise and ferry clients.


Simulation Facilities (Bridge)

The Full Mission Bridge Simulator is a Wärtsilä simulation system by Transas, providing a broad range of simulation scenarios in a realistic operating environment. An extensive collection of ship models and port areas can be utilised with this Full Mission Bridge Simulator. This simulator fully meets the requirements for a DNV Class A Full Mission Simulator.


  • Platinum NACOS Bridge with fully integrated Bridge Wing Controls (Port & Starboard)
  • Ability to view downwards from Bridge Wing controls for berthing manoeuvres
  • 4 x ECDIS/Radar stations
  • Enclosed Bridge
  • 6m Radius Projected Screen
  • Day/Night Edge Banding on projectors
  • GMDSS facility

Conference/Debrief Room

  • 1 x Control Station for playback
  • Integrated CCTV - recording debriefs & playback linked to exercise

Control Stations

  • 2 x Control Stations within one room (for Tug control in addition to Bridge control)
  • Integrated CCTV - recording & playback linked to exercise

Standalone ECDIS Suite (NACOS Platinum/ Navisailor 4000)

  • ECDIS units to support 12 delegates
  • Instructor Control Station linked to ECDIS units


Simulation Facilities (Engineering)

The Full Mission Engine Room Simulator is a Wärtsilä ERS 5000 TechSim by Transas, which provides an exact, detailed copy of vessel systems and simulates machinery and engine room compartments. This simulator fully meets the requirements for a DNV Class A Full Mission Simulator.

Engine Control Room

  • Integrated Automation System
  • Process Displays to replicate client vessel as closely as possible
  • Fitted with real throttle controls & telegraph
  • Touchscreen controls to operate & monitor propulsion and auxiliary systems

Engine Room

  • Photorealistic engine room corresponding to ship model in use
  • Interactive 3D virtual reality machinery space workstations in a separate room
  • Full interaction with equipment & systems
  • Realistic ambient noise levels
  • Realistic alarms (sound & light)

Emergency Switchboard Room (High Voltage)

  • Real 11kV switchboard
  • Ability to run diagnostics using a virtual toolkit

Conference/Debrief Room

  • 1 x Control Station for playback
  • Integrated CCTV - recording debriefs & playback linked to exercise

In the three-month period from operational launch on 16th September 2019 until mid-December, MSA Solent saw courses running in 12 of 14 available course weeks, with over 1,200 course delivery hours and some 180 ship’s officers attending simulation training courses.