After SeaDream Yacht Club and Royal Caribbean Group’s brands
(Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Silversea Cruises)
announced that they would implement Starlink for improved internet
connectivity, many other lines have announced that they are also jumping
on the bandwidth bandwagon. Utilising low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites
and operated by SpaceX, the technology is able to offer a more stable
and faster connection for small-ship operators, as well as the largest
Here are the lines adding Starlink for better onboard internet access.
American Cruise Lines
ACL beta-tested Starlink in 2022 and has now added it to its fleet. Photo Credit: Facebook/American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines (ACL) has already added the service to its 2023
fleet of riverboats and coastal ships, and it is being offered to
guests free of charge. The brand had previously beta-tested the new tech
in 2022 to rave reviews from its client base.
The service is now available on its sailings ranging from Alaska and
the Florida Keys to the Mississippi River and Napa Valley, Calif.
American Queen Voyages
Similarly, American Queen Voyages is the latest to announce Starlink
implementation across its fleet of seven river, lake and ocean vessels —
ready for their 2023 itineraries.
“Upgrading our included Wi-Fi to Space X’s Starlink will enhance the
guest and crew experience on all of our vessels,” said Cindy D’Aoust,
president of American Queen Voyages. “This new internet service will now
allow guests to stay connected while deeply discovering North America,
enjoying the comforts of at-home Wi-Fi at sea."
The ships will additionally feature cellular back-up connections from
FMC Global Sat 5G for greater redundancy to the line’s complimentary
"FMC’s innovative solutions integrated with Starlink’s connectivity
enable applications and services that require low latency and
significant Mbps of bandwidth, that were, until now, considered
unrealistic or cost prohibitive,” said Emmanuel Cotrel, CEO of FMC. “We
are pleased to help provide American Queen Voyages passengers and crew
with best-in-class internet connectivity wherever they travel.”
Proving the internet technology’s scalability, even Carnival
Corporation is in the process of rolling it out on its worldwide ships,
beginning with Carnival Cruise Line and Aida Cruises since December
2022. The plan is to expand it to Cunard Line, Holland America Line,
Princess Cruises and Seabourn Cruise Line, as well as P&O Cruises
(Australia), Costa Cruises and P&O Cruises (U.K.).
“For many of our guests, it has become more and more important to
maintain the type of connectivity at sea that they’ve become accustomed
to at home, and of course to share the unforgettable experiences of
their cruise with friends and family,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of
Carnival Corporation. “We are in the business of delivering happiness,
and Starlink makes it as easy as possible for our guests to share all
their great moments and memories, giving them even more joy out of their
Weinstein added that the extra bandwidth will allow the Carnival
brands to debut new services and features for the guests, improve
connectivity for crew and better support shipboard operations such as
equipment monitoring and ship-to-shore communications.
“High-speed, low-latency broadband internet is critical in our modern
age, and we’re excited to provide Carnival Cruise Line and Aida’s
guests an internet experience that makes their travel even more
enjoyable,” said Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of Starlink sales for
SpaceX. “In even the most remote waters, guests onboard Carnival
Corporation ships will be able to share real-time updates with friends
Hurtigruten Expeditions’ fleet is outfitted with Starlink internet service. Photo Credit: 2023 Hurtigruten Expeditions
Hurtigruten Expeditions is another independent company to employ
Starlink onboard, offering the service for free to both guests and crew.
As of October 2022, the line’s entire fleet (except its Galapagos ship)
has also been running on the new internet connection in collaboration
with long-time connectivity partner Speedcast.
“As the world leader in exploration travel, it’s only fitting that we
bring the world’s most innovative technologies onboard our ships to
further enhance the experience and day-to-day lives for our guests,
crew, partners and the communities we visit,” said Asta Lassesen, CEO of
Lassesen also indicates that once Starlink supports coverage in
Antarctica and the Arctic, the Hurtigruten fleet will be ready to take
advantage, as already expected in the southernmost continent at the end
of last year.
“With vessels operating in some of the most remote and spectacular
areas of the world, Hurtigruten Expeditions is an ideal partner for
introducing groundbreaking technology in the cruise industry,” said Joe
Spytek, CEO of Speedcast. “Speedcast’s expertise lies in our ability to
combine all available connectivity paths and manage a complete service
that offers the highest levels of uptime, availability and performance."
Besides offering a better connection to passengers and navigational
crew, Starlink provides more immediacy to onboard scientists working on
crucial projects in the remote poles from the line’s onboard Science
“The introduction of new technology makes it easier for everyone
onboard to remain connected with friends, family and loved ones no
matter where they are,” Lassesen said. “We challenge all cruise lines
that follow our example by installing Starlink, and to also follow our
example to make internet free for all crew members.”
Windstar is launching Starlink across most of its ships by mid-2023. Photo Credit: 2023 Windsor Cruises
Last, but not least, Windsor Cruises will be launching Starlink
across most of its fleet by mid-2023. Star Pride already has the new
Wi-Fi service, and Star Legend will have it this spring, followed by
Star Breeze, Wind Star and Wind Surf. Wind Spirit will receive the
service once it becomes available in French Polynesia.
At the moment, Windstar employs geostationary satellite service,
Anuvu, for its internet. Starlink is set to support the Anuvu connection
with greater reliability and speed.
“I am thrilled to be working with Anuvu and Starlink to offer our
guests the latest in satellite technology," said Gregg Wagner,
technology director of Windstar Cruises. “When the ships are inside the
service area, faster speeds will alleviate much of the frustration felt
at peak use times.”
Source: Travel Weekly