Holland America Line continues to update its vessels with Starlink internet capabilities, with six ships of the 11 in the fleet now offering high-speed internet service. Progress continues on the installation, and the cruise line plans that the full fleet will be connected before the end of 2023.
Six ships in the Holland America Line fleet have now been equipped with high-speed Starlink internet service. The installation began with the 99,863-gross-ton, Pinnacle-class Koningsdam, and has continued with Oosterdam, Volendam, Westerdam, Zaandam, and Zuiderdam.
Early feedback from the initial installation aboard Koningsdam was overwhelmingly positive, especially as the ship was sailing in Alaska at the time the service was first tested and other internet services in the region are often challenging.
“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, Holland America Line 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.”
The remaining five ships in the fleet – Noordam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, and the line’s newest ship, Rotterdam – are planned to be fully hooked up by mid-December.
“Our goal is to continue keeping all guests connected to the internet to share their memorable experiences, and to allow our team members to stay in touch with their loved ones back home,” said Kathleen Erickson, vice president of technology for Holland America Line. “It’s important we stay up to date with evolving technology to ensure the best experience for everyone stepping foot on our ships.”
The faster internet available through Starlink’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology helps cruise guests stay connected with loved ones through social media and photo sharing, as well as remote work, banking updates, checking flight details, and other necessities in our increasingly connected lives.
At the same time, however, the technology is essential for each ship’s officers and crew members. Not only does Starlink help them stay connected to loved ones during their months-long contracts, but it also keeps each ship updated on fleet operations, weather reports, navigational challenges, and more for safer, more comfortable sailing.
With the ever-increasing range of the Starlink network – new satellites are being launched every month aboard SpaceX’s reusable rocket fleet – the service is widely available even for cruise ships sailing in more remote regions where traditional internet services are spotty or completely absent.
Starlink Maritime, the application specifically for shipboard services, launched in July 2022 and has become increasingly popular, especially as coverage – which was initially only in limited areas – has now gone global.
Various cruise lines have already implemented Starlink service, including AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and more.
Smaller cruise lines that offer expedition voyages to more remote areas are also implementing Starlink, such as Hurtigruten Expeditions, which completed fleetwide installation of the service nearly a year ago.
Cruise lines typically offer multi-tiered internet service packages for guests, with different available speeds and connectivity based on the package choice. Smaller packages may only permit limited social media use, while more popular packages include some web browsing and email access.
Premium packages typically support the highest internet speeds and the ability to do some additional digital networking or streaming, depending on the cruise line and service availability.
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