Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) announced Monday its plans to offer SpaceX’s Starlink high-speed internet on its ships to improve connectivity for guests and crew at sea. NCLH is a global cruise company that operates the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. With the help of advanced low earth orbit satellites, Starlink delivers industry-leading broadband internet connectivity to improve the capacity, speed, and reliability of the internet on board.
NCLH is currently testing Starlink, starting with Norwegian Breakaway, to roll out the technology across its entire fleet in a phased manner. Harry Sommer, the president and CEO-elect of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., said, “We are thrilled to offer Starlink on board our ships to improve internet connectivity at sea. This initiative is a testament to our continuous quest to find new and innovative ways to enhance the experience for guests and crew while sailing on our award-winning brands.”
The company is targeting to equip seven 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 the timeline and availability of specific ships will be communicated once finalized.
In addition to enhancing the guest and crew experience, the extra bandwidth will allow for more flexibility for onboard services and improve the ship-to-shore connection for operational needs. This move aligns with the company’s commitment to continuously improving the guest experience at sea.
According to a report by Forbes, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings was one of the first cruise companies to introduce satellite internet access in 2002. Still, the technology at the time was expensive, and internet speeds were relatively slow. Starlink’s high-speed internet connectivity will provide guests a more seamless and enjoyable onboard experience.
SpaceX’s Starlink is available in several countries to provide internet connectivity globally, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The service uses a network of low earth orbit satellites closer to the earth than traditional geostationary satellites. This proximity reduces the latency or time delay in the signal, resulting in faster internet speeds.
Adding Starlink to NCLH’s fleet is a significant step forward in improving connectivity at sea. It will enable guests to stay connected with friends and family while sharing their experiences in real time. This new technology will also provide more onboard service opportunities and make the ship-to-shore connection more reliable for operational needs.
In conclusion, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ decision to offer Starlink high-speed internet on board its fleet is an exciting development for the cruise industry. With Starlink’s advanced low earth orbit satellites, guests and crew will experience improved internet connectivity, capacity, and speed, making their onboard experience more enjoyable. The phased rollout of the technology across the fleet is a testament to NCLH’s commitment to continuously improving the guest experience at sea.
WRITTEN BY: JILL WALSH