Royal Caribbean Group, the world's second largest cruise ship operator, is providing SpaceX’s Starlink internet to passengers. The company announced on August 30, it became the first in the cruise industry to implement SpaceX Starlink Internet onboard its entire fleet. Royal Caribbean plans to install dozens of Starlink user antennas on its cruise ships, as pictured above, to provide high-speed internet access to its customers while navigating at sea. SpaceX's Starlink satellite network is capable of providing internet coverage to remote locations around the world, including the ocean where traditional data and cellular networks are unreliable. SpaceX currently operates approximately 3,000 internet-beaming Starlink satellites in Low Earth Orbit.
Starlink hardware will be installed on all of Royal Caribbean Group's fleet, which includes ships operated by Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. The hardware is already in the process of installation. In June, the company's 'Freedom of the Seas' cruise ship was the first to be outfitted with Starlink user terminals in order to test the network.
Royal Caribbean said Starlink has "received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from guests and crew." SpaceX’s broadband network proved to be better than the cruise line's previous satellite internet provider, according to a frequent passenger who tested the internet service aboard Freedom of the Seas on June 28. Before Starlink was implemented, Caribbean provided two internet options: Voom Surf, which enables users to access email, social media and browse the web. The other option is called 'Voom Surf and Stream,' which provides a higher bandwidth without data caps for video streaming and uses that require high-speed internet connectivity. A customer who tested the Starlink network aboard the cruise ship said that when they accessed the internet -"It was instantly clear that this internet service was above and beyond what Voom typically offered.”
The Starlink hardware installation is slated to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2023. “Our purpose as a company is to deliver the best vacation experiences to our guests responsibly, and this new offering, which is the biggest public deployment of Starlink’s high-speed internet in the travel industry so far, demonstrates our commitment to that purpose,” said Jason Liberty, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Group. “This technology will provide game-changing internet connectivity onboard our ships, enhancing the cruise experience for guests and crew alike. It will improve and enable more high-bandwidth activities like video streaming as well as activities like video calls. Using Starlink is one more example of our continued focus on innovation and excellence for our guests, our crew, the communities we visit and our shareholders," they stated in a press release on August 30.
“Royal Caribbean Group selecting Starlink to provide high-speed, low-latency internet across their fleet will make their passengers’ getaways even more luxurious,” said SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Sales Jonathan Hofeller. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Royal Caribbean Group to ensure travelers at sea can stay connected with a great internet experience.”
“Our work with SpaceX is another example of how Royal Caribbean Group continues to lead the cruise industry in innovation and adoption of cutting-edge technology,” Liberty added.
Featured Image Source: Royal Caribbean
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.