Advanced Television

Starlink to supply Royal Caribbean cruise ships

June 14, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Elon Musk’s Starlink broadband by satellite internet service is looking to connect Royal Caribbean cruise ships with access for passengers and crew.

The outline agreement will see Starlink provide an experimental service initially. However, the more modern Royal Caribbean vessels are already equipped with satellite-based internet services from SES and its O3b Networks subsidiary.

SES has said that it is working hard to meet “unprecedented demand” for bandwidth to the Royal Caribbean fleet as well as other cruise lines. Later this year SES will launch its more powerful Boeing-built mPOWER satellites which will add significant extra capacity to cruise vessels including boats owned by Princess Cruises and Virgin Voyages.

mPOWER satellites will be brought into use this coming winter following their third-quarter 2022 launches.

SpaceX has recently relaxed usage of its Starlink services by ‘moving’ vehicles, although not necessarily by vehicles actually on the move. SpaceX now allows owners of RVs and caravans to use Starlink while at different locations to their normal home base.

SpaceX has reportedly received requests from Royal Caribbean’s VP/Operational Excellence, John Maya, who has supported an application by SpaceX to the FCC for permission to operate on cruise vessels. Royal Caribbean offers its passengers a ‘Voom’ internet service on board.

Later in June SpaceX will launch its next batch of Starlink satellites (batch 4-19) from Florida.

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