Training in inland navigation is key to ensure  security by significantly reducing possible accidents due to human failure but also to ensure  labour market efficiency by answering the demand for qualified crew members.



The training and educational path necessary to work in the inland navigation sector is organised at national level in Europe. Apprenticeship and traineeship can play an important role in this training, depending on the country.


EDINNA – Education in Inland Navigation – is the educational network of inland waterway navigation schools and training institutes. The EDINNA association recognizes that all members use the same European waterway system and have a different background in various educational systems in Europe. It is the aim of EDINNA to come to a more structured cooperation and to establish an harmonized education, training and certification system for inland waterway personnel in order to ensure high quality of trained staff on board the vessels. 

Click on the map to access to the different schools for inland waterway navigation in Europe.



Additional information on schools and training institutes for inland navigation in Europe can be found on the EDINNA website.



Vessel handling simulators are relatively recent tools in inland navigation. They make it possible to reproduce in many circumstances the behaviour of a vessel so well that, from the dummy wheelhouse, the impression is really that of steering a vessel.

The following movie presents the simulator already in function in Duisburg in the Schiffer-Berufskolleg Rhine.


Three potential ways of using simulators have been identified by the CCNR:

  • as a teaching tool during initial training at a recognised training institute,
  • as a tool for examination purposes; such an examination could be used to check practical experience acquired on board a vessel,
  • as a tool for continuous training for skippers.

Different countries have already developed vessel handling simulators dedicated to inland navigation with different functionalities and performances: the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France. The Danube countries are also working on a tool dedicated specifically to inland navigation.

Several initiatives are currently ongoing to foster the use of vessel handling simulator in inland navigation:

Platina II, a European coordination action supporting the implementation of the NAIADES II policy package “Towards quality inland waterway transport”, which aims at promoting this sustainable mode of transport.

Hint, a two-year EU co-funded project responding to the specific inland waterway transport issues highlighted by the Danube Commission and emphasized in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region or Europe 2020 in terms of mobility of workforce and shortage of adequate personnel in the sector.

– the CCNR who set up a functionalities table for vessel handling simulators and recently embarked on working on the use of vessel handling simulators in testing practical competence.

Functionalities table of the CCNR stf12_21en_rev4