VIDEO: This is what Willem-Alexander and Máxima did at the MIWB
Willem-Alexander and Máxima visited NHL Stenden's Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz (MIWB) on Wednesday morning. Among other things, the king and queen were given a tour of the Maritiem Simulator Trainingscentrum (MSTC) and spoke with students and teachers. The stop at MIWB on Terschelling was part of a regional visit to the Wadden Islands.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima arrived at MIWB Wednesday morning, where students and MIWB colleagues were standing by and forming a guard of honor. Inside, the couple was received by President of the Board of Governors Erica Schaper and MIWB Director Gerrit van Leunen. Mayor Caroline van de Pol and Commissioner of the King Arno Brok were also present.
Career at sea
First on the program was a tour of the MSTC. Willem-Alexander and Máxima could see with their own eyes where simulation education and training is given to students of the MIWB and also other Dutch nautical schools. From the engine room, the entourage went to the 360-degree bridge simulator, where the royal couple also operated and experienced the simulator themselves.
Van Leunen: "It is great to show the royal couple today how we at Terschelling prepare students for a career at sea. We have modern simulators here, where reality is imitated very realistically. This gives students the perfect preparation for sailing at sea."
Challenges of the maritime sector
At the MSTC, Willem-Alexander and Máxima also spoke with teachers and students Maritime Officer and Ocean Technology. This was followed by a conversation with various stakeholders, about the challenges of the maritime sector and the role MIWB plays in it. Annet Koster of the Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR), for example, was present to emphasize, from the shipowners' perspective, the importance of sufficient new recruitment of Dutch seafarers.
Willem van Herwaarden, (former) student at MIWB and captain at Heerema Marine Contractors, also stressed that well-trained personnel are a must for Dutch companies working in the niche of the sector. "We are all working to make the sector more sustainable and it is precisely because of that image that we are strong to attract students and there are healthy career opportunities."
Finally, the pair also exchanged views with the Wadden Area Environmental Council. After the visit to the MIWB, Willem-Alexander and Máxima continued their Wadden Island visit with crossings to Ameland and, finally, Schiermonnikoog.