(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) Hurtigruten has announced it will install SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet service fleetwide, joining RCI-Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Silversea.
The expedition cruise line and its long-time connectivity partner Speedcast began testing and integration of Starlink terminals on board the operator's fleet of small-size expedition cruise ships in March. The installation will be complete by end of October, making Hurtigruten Expeditions the first cruise line to introduce the high-speed, low-latency connectivity across its entire fleet, the company said.
Cruise giant Royal Caribbean Group, which has also trialed Starlink, in August announced plans to roll out the service for its entire fleet by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
“We’ve seen major players announcing plans for implementation of Starlink connectivity. Our partnership with Speedcast and fleetwide introduction of the new service not only puts us ahead of the rest of the cruise industry, it also puts us ahead of the technology. When Starlink introduces maritime coverage in Antarctica and the Arctic, we will be ready,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.
The Starlink broadband internet solution – which uses a network of low-orbit satellites – is slated to be introduced for Antarctic maritime coverage in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Hurtigruten Expeditions, part of the Norway-based Hurtigruten Group, will offer internet connectivity free of charge for all guests, scientists and crew aboard its vessels.
“Introduction of new technology makes it easier for everyone on board to remain connected with friends, family and loved ones no matter where they are. We challenge all cruise lines that follows our example by installing Starlink to also follow our example to make internet free for all crew members,” Lassesen said.