Almere the choice for Carnival

On 14 June, the Miami-based cruise ship operator Carnival Corporation opened its new Arison Maritime Center in Almere’s bustling new DUIN development area. The festive opening of the new €75m facility was attended by Carnival’s CEO Arnold Donald, its Chairman Micky Arison, the Mayor of Almere Franc Weerwind, and the Secretary General of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs Maarten Camps.

The centrepiece of the campus is the renewed Center for Simulator Maritime Training Academy (CSMART). This facility features cutting-edge simulators that utilize the maritime industry’s most innovative technology and training solutions. It will provide training for all of Carnival’s bridge and engineering officers, who are responsible for the navigation and operation of Carnival’s huge fleet of cruise ships. The simulators recreate real-world scenarios and sea conditions including ship traffic and rough weather, providing an authentic experience for participants to build their skills in navigating complex situations. When fully operational, CSMART will train about 6,500 Carnival officers every year.

The site also includes an advanced medical centre and a 176-room hotel for the Carnival trainees. The centre’s campus and buildings were designed by Dutch architect Paul de Ruiter, and the Dutch construction company Dura Vermeer built the CSMART Academy and hotel. The design and construction were built to meet rigorous environmental and sustainability standards that will achieve "LEED Gold" certification.

Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest leisure travel company in the world, with a portfolio of 10 cruise brands including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Cunard. Together, these brands operate 101 ships that visit more than 700 ports around the world.

Almere a popular site for foreign companies

Carnival will be able to expand even further in Almere, a garden city in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe, with a current population of about 200,000. With its many green spaces and vibrant downtown area, Almere offers an exceptionally high quality of life. It is an increasingly popular place to live, and is known for its comfortable, spacious and affordable homes. It offers primary and secondary (international) schools with no waiting lists, as well as an excellent quality of life with many shopping, healthcare and leisure facilities.

There are already 250 international companies operating in Almere, and that number is increasing quickly: the city has an abundance of space available to accommodate both residential and commercial property investments.

The new Carnival facility is located in Almere’s growing development area known as DUIN (Dutch link), a mixed-use zone located on the water that features a combination of offices, hotels, shops, restaurants, and homes. It is located right next to the Almere Poort train station, and is about 30 minutes away from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Companies interested in doing business in Almere are well served by the Almere Business Plaza, a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs that assists in all the necessary arrangements, such as dealing with the Chamber of Commerce and other key partners. This is in addition to the services already provided to foreign companies in the region by amsterdam inbusiness (AiB) and the Expatcenter.