Carnival Corp brands, Seabourn and Holland America Line (HAL), have opted to fit SpaceX’s Starlink connectivity.
Two of Seabourn’s purpose-built expedition ships, ’Seabourn Venture’ and ’Seabourn Pursuit’, will be equipped with Wi-Fi utilising Starlink.
The upgraded technology will provide Seabourn’s expedition guests with faster service, greater connectivity and more reliable Wi-Fi wherever Starlink’s services are available, the company said.
‘Seabourn Venture’ was the first ship in the Seabourn fleet to offer Starlink’s Wi-Fi technology beginning with her 12th May, 2023 voyage, just in time for the ship’s second Arctic season.
‘Seabourn Pursuit’ will be fitted with the enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity after she is delivered in this summer.
Seabourn said that its expedition ships will offer the best available Wi-Fi experience, allowing guests to stay connected, as they explore some of the most interesting and remote destinations in the world.
“We are committed to providing the best ultra-luxury expedition experiences at sea, and the Starlink partnership will offer a significantly enhanced connectivity experience during our expedition journeys,” said Natalya Leahy, Seabourn President.
“From the Polar regions to Australia and the South Pacific, our guests will experience a more reliable connection, allowing them to share those special moments and experiences with their loved ones as they sail on ’Seabourn Venture’ and ’Seabourn Pursuit’.”
“Starlink offers Internet capabilities and functionality to meet growing service demands globally, and I am so pleased that guests and crew members on both of our expedition ships will benefit from this innovative technology,” added Kathleen Erickson, Seabourn’s Vice President of Technology.
Between June and August 2023, ‘Seabourn Venture’ will offer a series of 14- and 15-day voyages to Greenland and Iceland, as well as a 23-day adventure through the Northwest Passage. She will then head down the West Coast of the Americas before reaching Antarctica, where the vessel will sail between November, 2023 and February, 2024.
In late February, 2024, ’Seabourn Venture’ will cross the Atlantic, sail up the West Coast of Africa and Europe to be in position for the 2024 Arctic season.
In addition, HAL guests and crew have begun using SpaceX’s Starlink on its ‘Pinnacle’ class cruise ship ‘Koningsdam’, now sailing in Alaska.
The technology was installed during an April drydocking.
Starlink offers Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology aimed at providing faster and more reliable Wi-Fi on a global scale, which is particularly important for internet access on ships in Alaska where weather interference and blockage from structures and mountains can challenge traditional technology, HAL said.
“For our guests and our team members, maintaining the connectivity they are accustomed to at home is an important part of the cruise experience,” said Gus Antorcha, HAL President.
“Added bandwidth means our guests can share the joys of exploring Alaska in real time and our team can stay in touch with their loved ones back home.”
“While it’s early in our usage, the feedback from guests and team members has been very positive so far,” said Erickson, who is also HAL’s Vice President of Technology.
“We’re hearing from guests that emails and social media are performing well, and team members tell us that internet calls home to loved ones are much stronger. That’s a connection that means a lot.”
“High-speed, low-latency internet is critical to our modern lifestyle. We’re excited that Holland America Line is seeing strong results in Alaska,” said Jonathan Hofeller, Starlink’s Vice President of Commercial Sales.
“And we look forward to helping Holland America Line and other Carnival Corporation ships continue to bring the connectivity experience for their guests and crew into the modern age.”
Koningsdam will be using Starlink’s internet capability this summer on over 20 voyages from Vancouver to Alaskan ports. Further ships will be fitted with the technology later this year with the goal of Starlink being available across the whole HAL fleet.
Lindblad Expeditions has also adopted SpaceX’s Starlink internet technology.
The line said the new internet service will bring 10 times faster download speeds to ships sailing in remote areas, including Antarctica, the Canadian Arctic, Svalbard and Alaska.
Lindblad has rolled out Starlink on seven of the line’s 14 ships, including the ‘National Geographic Venture’, ‘Quest’, ‘Sea Bird’, ‘Sea Lion’, ‘Explorer’, ‘Endurance’ and ‘Resolution’.
Installation is continuing across the fleet.
With the improved internet service, Lindblad plans to introduce tiered internet packages later this year.
The Basic tier will allow free messaging through apps, such as iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, along with email and limited social media.
The Enhanced tier will support general web browsing, social media and video calls, while the Premium tier will include unlimited web, social and streaming access.