Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) plans to improve connectivity for guests and crew at sea by offering SpaceX’s Starlink high-speed internet on its ships.
- Norwegian Cruise Line marked its first cruise season in South Africa and Namibia in 2023.
- Starlink offers global maritime coverage with up to 220 Mbps download while at sea.
- Currently there are just over 3’500 Starlink small satellites in low Earth orbit.
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It’s about high-time on the high-seas that the internet cruising speed matched the rest of the cruising experience and whilst a few would be signing up to premium internet packages to stay connected to the world whilst at sea, many will know that connectivity on open waters is far from reliable or fast.
Thanks to a bit of intervention by Elon Musk and his company Starlink, the world of broadband internet, globally, has seen a wave of change, especially for those hard-to-reach places including exotic islands, long-lost civilisations and of course, ships.
Using advanced low earth orbit satellites, Starlink delivers revolutionary broadband internet connectivity and estimates expect around a billion people to experience the internet for the very first time – it’s unthinkable! What Starlink will also deliver is improved capacity, speed and reliability of internet on board cruiseships. NCL is currently testing Starlink, beginning with the Norwegian Breakaway, with the intent to rollout this game-changing technology across its entire fleet in a phased manner.
Once deployed, guests and crew will have a faster and more reliable method to stay connected with friends and family including by sharing in real-time the incredible memories they create while at sea.
// President and CEO-elect of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Harry Sommer
If trials are successful, NCL is targeting to equip 7 additional vessels with Starlink by year-end, including all three of the Company’s exciting new additions this year, Oceania Cruises’ Vista, Norwegian Viva and Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur.
A comprehensive rollout plan is under development and details regarding timeline and availability on specific ships will be communicated once finalized. In addition to enhancing the guest and crew experience, the extra bandwidth will also allow for more flexibility for onboard services and improve the ship-to-shore connection for operational needs.
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