Starlink Maritime goes on a cruise

SpaceX has found a major customer for its new maritime broadband service, Elon Musk said, which will provide cruise passengers with “impeccable internet connectivity.”

Cruise line Royal Caribbean will deploy Starlink across its entire fleet to improve communication between passengers and crew. In the past, cruise ships had to rely on expensive satellite internet services that rarely offered enough bandwidth for a Zoom meeting.

Royal Caribbean promises that Starlink will now be a game changer for passengers.

star link cruise

In a tweet, Royal Caribbean claimed that the fleet-wide deployment of Starlink would provide “game-changing high-speed internet connectivity.” Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, reacted to this statement as follows: “Royal Caribbean ships will soon be equipped with a powerful Internet connection. »

Starlink will be deployed immediately on all Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises ships, as well as all new ships of each brand. The cruise company plans to complete the installation by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

A sector recovering from the pandemic

The cruise industry’s profits have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, but major operators have survived as bookings have returned to pre-pandemic levels this year.

“Our goal as a company is to responsibly provide our customers with the best vacation experience, and this new offering, which is the largest public deployment of Starlink broadband in the travel industry to date, demonstrates our commitment to this,” said Jason Liberty. , Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, in a press release.

“This technology will provide revolutionary internet connectivity aboard our ships, enhancing the cruising experience for passengers and crew. This will improve and allow for higher speed activities such as video streaming or video calls. »

Divide by three?

The Royal Caribbean deal is also a big win for SpaceX, which launched Starlink Maritime in July. To date, Elon Musk’s company has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites.

Initially, SpaceX rolled out a service for its own fleet of ships, the purpose of which is to recover spacecraft that fell back into the sea.

SpaceX notes that prior to the creation of Starlink Maritime, the 25Mbps VSAT service it used cost it $165,000 a month for its fleet. In the meantime, his new service costs $5,000 per ship per month, for a total monthly cost of $50,000.


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