October 12 2022  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Norwegian cruise line takes Starlink broadband service

By Rick Lundstrom

A Starlink terminal on board Hurtigruten Expeditions' battery-hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen.PHOTO: Oscar Farrera/Hurtigruten Expeditions

Hurtigruten Expeditions will be the first cruise line to implement SpaceX’s broadband service Starlink across all ships. In cooperation with long-time connectivity partner Speedcast, the installation will be completed in October.

“As the world leader in exploration travel, it’s only fitting that we bring the world’s most innovative technologies onboard our ships to further enhance the experience and day-to-day lives for our guests, crew, partners and the communities we visit,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen in today’s announcement.

Speedcast and Hurtigruten Expeditions began testing and integration of Starlink terminals onboard the fleet of small-size expedition cruise ships in March. 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.

“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 Lassesen.

“With vessels operating in some of the most remote and spectacular areas of the world, Hurtigruten Expeditions is an ideal partner for introducing groundbreaking technology in the cruise industry. Speedcast’s expertise lies in our ability to combine all available connectivity paths and manage a complete service that offers the highest levels of uptime, availability and performance,” said Joe Spytek, Chief Executive Officer at Speedcast.

The Internet solution uses a network of low-orbit satellites. Hurtigruten Expeditions offers free internet connectivity not only for guests, but also for all crew members. Starlink is slated to introduce Antarctic maritime coverage in the fourth quarter of this year.

“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,” said Lassesen.

Speedcast is an IT services provider, delivering communications services to the Maritime, Energy, Mining, Media, Telecom, Cruise, NGO, Government, and Enterprise sectors.

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