A mini replica of the Suez Canal in a French lake is helping mariners learn the lessons of the Ever Given blockage


A scaled-down model of a container ship at the Port Revel Training Centre in France (L) vs. the actual Ever Given ship in the Suez Canal in Egypt (R).

A training facility in a French lake is helping mariners navigate the world’s trickiest waterways. The lake contains a mini version of the Suez Canal, which is replicated on a 1/25th scale. Owners of the facility say they’ve seen a spike in interest after the Ever Given crisis last month. See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A training facility in a lake in eastern France, which replicates some of the busiest trading routes in the world, has seen a surge in interest after the colossal container ship, the Ever Given, became wedged in the Suez Canal last month.

The Port Revel facility, located in a lake on the foothills of the Alps in Saint-Pierre-de-Bressieux, is designed to help mariners and ship captains navigate crucial shipping channels.

The replicas of the different waterways, including the Suez Canal, the San Francisco Bay, and Port McArthur in the Gulf of Mexico, are made to be as realistic as possible, built to one twenty-fifth the scale of the real ones.

Read more: The 4 biggest losers of the Suez Canal fiasco – and 4 surprising winners

Trainees at the facility have to learn how to maneuver scale models of massive container ships without getting stuck in narrow channels, facing strong underwater currents, and machine-generated waves while doing so.

Instructors can also simulate steering problems and engine outages to see how the trainees react.

Instructor Philippe Boulanger talks to pilots as they steer a scaled-down model of a container ship, named the Spirit of Port Revel, during a training course on a lake at the Port Revel Shiphandling Training Centre in Saint-Pierre-de-Bressieux, France, on April 19, 2021.

Francois Mayor, the managing director of Port Revel, told