P&O Cruises and Cunard are boosting their fleet Wi-Fi with SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet services. SpaceX’s Starlink Maritime, introduced in July 2022 and first tested out by Norway’s Hurtigruten Expeditions, delivers high-speed internet for vessels at sea, which is a connectivity boon for both guests and crew.

Starting in June 2023, P&O Cruises and Cunard began implementing SpaceX’s Starlink technology to improve onboard internet connectivity and overall data capacity fort their vessels. By the end of 2023, these upgraded services are expected to be accessible in both common areas and inside cabins aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria.

Starlink Maritime, SpaceX’s maritime internet service, aims to provide high-speed internet connectivity to ships navigating the open seas. 

Many other cruise companies, like Atlas Voyages, Holland America Line, Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours, Royal Caribbean Group, Seabourn, Carnival Cruise Line, and Windstar Cruises have already integrated Starlink access into some or all of their fleets. 

In May 2024, Cunard’s newest ship, the Fincantieri-built 113,000-ton Queen Anne, is scheduled to launch with Starlink connectivity in place. Meanwhile, Starlink has already been implemented in the public areas of P&O Cruises’ Britannia and Azura.

Also, by the end of 2023, Starlink’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite technology will be accessible in public areas and cabins on five additional P&O Cruises’ vessels – ArcadiaArvia, AuroraIona, and Ventura – letting people onboard communicate with loved ones around the world.

Photo Courtesy: Hurtigruten

“Sharing unforgettable moments with friends and family back at home is an important part of any holiday,” Paul Ludlow, Carnival UK and P&O Cruises president remarked.

“Whether it’s uploading a picture of a sunset as you sail away from a newly discovered destination or catching up with the news, live events or content from home, Starlink will make it even easier for our guests and colleagues to stay connected.”

Costa Cruises recently added Starlink Internet capability to its flagship, the 185,010-ton Costa Toscana. Another example (out of many) of a company implementing this technology is Germany’s AIDA Cruises, which announced plans to outfit all of its 12 vessels with advanced Starlink broadband service — along with several different data packages for guests — by October 2023.

The trend for cruise lines like Cunard and Holland America to add Starlink packages and services to their fleet will likely only continue into the foreseeable future, giving guests more options for email, photo sharing, streaming video, stay abreast of news, checking sports scores, and much more.

The connectivity improvements that come from adding Starlink Maritime’s high-speed Internet to specific cruise ships and entire fleets cannot be understated. 

Starlink Maritime Internet provides passengers with improved connectivity for web browsing and streaming, while crew members (and ship guests) can communicate with loved ones back home. 

Crew can also access training materials, plus other information available online that they need to help them do their jobs. Additionally, Starlink bolsters safety at sea by supporting critical applications like real-time weather monitoring – especially critical during hurricane season.

The integration of SpaceX technology on board cruising vessels can also help reduce operational costs by offering a more efficient and reliable way for people to stay connected, as well as manage ship operations.

Starlink satellite internet also provides diverse onboard entertainment and communication options for passengers on holiday, as well as for those guests who may be working remotely while they travel.

Starlink and Starlink Maritime are SpaceX’s satellite-based internet systems, built and launched to offer worldwide broadband connectivity through a constellation of compact satellites situated in low Earth orbit. 

Starlink (Photo Credit: rafapress / Shutterstock)

These satellites establish a web-like network, facilitating the transmission of internet signals to and from terrestrial stations while maintaining reliable connectivity and higher data transmission speeds.

Given the fact that cruise lines often operate in distant spots far from land and civilization, Starlink helps solve problems that arise from connectivity issues due to a ship’s remoteness. 

Starlink’s dependable global internet service harmonizes with the cruise industry’s requirements for high-speed internet connectivity, improving the shipboard experiences of passengers and crew members alike.

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