Holland America Line Guests Say Smooth Sailing with Starlink

By Greg Tavarez May 24, 2023

A group of passengers board a cruise ship as they chat and laugh in excitement for their cruise ship vacation. Yet, as the vacation goes on, they find themselves increasingly frustrated with the onboard internet connectivity as the ship navigates through the open sea.

They had anticipated staying connected with loved ones, sharing their travel experiences on social media, and even working remotely during their vacation. The existing satellite-based internet service provided by the cruise line, however, fails to meet their expectations.

This is where SpaceX’s (News - Alert) Starlink satellite internet service can improve. Starlink offers reliable and high-speed internet access to passengers and crew, even in remote maritime regions where traditional satellite services may be limited.

Holland America Line is one of the cruise lines utilizing Starlink on its Pinnacle Class ship Koningsdam, now sailing in Alaska. The technology, installed during an April drydock, has been operating for four weeks.

Since receiving the new technology, Koningsdam has sailed an 18-day cruise roundtrip from Vancouver to Hawaii and has begun sailing its seven-day Alaska Inside Passage voyages from Vancouver, including Glacier Bay, Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway.

And, more importantly, guests are happy with the internet connection.

"While it's early in our usage, the feedback from guests and team members has been very positive so far," said Kathleen Erickson, Vice President of Technology for Holland America Line. "We're hearing from guests that emails and social media are performing well, and team members tell us that internet calls home to loved ones are much stronger. That's a connection that means a lot."

With a global coverage objective and a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, Starlink provides expanded connectivity, reduced latency and increased bandwidth capacity to meet the needs of cruise ships. This enables seamless communication, access to online services and a smoother internet experience for passengers and crew members.

Furthermore, Starlink's mobile adaptability makes it suitable for the mobility of cruise ships, ensuring continuous connectivity as they sail between destinations.

"High-speed, low-latency internet is critical to our modern lifestyle," said Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of Commercial Sales for Starlink. "We will continue to help Holland America Line and other Carnival Corp. ships bring the connectivity experience for their guests and crew into the modern age."

With the summer coming up, Koningsdam is expected to sail with the Starlink internet capability on over 20 voyages from Vancouver to Alaska's ports. Further ships will add the technology later this year with the goal of Starlink being available across the full Holland America Line fleet.

Edited by Alex Passett
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