AIDA Fleet Receives Faster-Than-Expected Starlink Deployment 

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The German cruise line AIDA Cruises, which operates 12 oceangoing vessels and is part of the Carnival Corporation, has announced that by October 2023 every ship in their fleet will be equipped with SpaceX’s cutting-edge Starlink broadband service.

This remarkable development will empower AIDA Cruises to provide an unparalleled onboard internet experience for its passengers and crew, ensuring top-tier connectivity for everyone aboard by the year’s end.

AIDA Cruises has announced that all 12 oceangoing vessels in its fleet will be connected to SpaceX’s advanced Starlink broadband service by October 2023. This is faster than the expected rollout, which was announced in January.

“Our project team has already equipped three ships in the AIDA fleet with Starlink antennas and the field test has been very convincing,” said Steffi Heinicke, Senior Vice President of Guest Experience. 

Furthermore, the company revealed that the accelerated deployment of Starlink on AIDA Vessels has already surpassed expectations. 

“Guests and crew appreciate the faster internet connections and enjoy the more comfortable web surfing. Digital work on board is also made easier. We are very much looking forward to offering this new standard on all ships very soon,” Heinicke added.

Passengers aboard AIDAbluAIDAbella, and AIDAstella can already take advantage of exclusive Starlink promotions featuring enhanced data allowances within the internet packages starting from mid-July, 2023. Ship crews will also benefit from better connectivity for work, as well as for personal use.

Using the Internet Onboard
Photo Credit: AIDA Cruises

Starlink’s internet data service enhances communication with AIDA staff and shore colleagues, leading to improved crew cooperation. Moreover, the increased data volume allows each crew member to enjoy better connectivity, fostering a sense of home at sea through regular exchanges with family and friends around the globe. 

For most of the summer 2023 season, the 71,300-ton Meyer Werft-built AIDAblu will be sailing around the Eastern Mediterranean. AIDAbella, refurbished in 2021, will be calling on ports in Scotland, Iceland, and Denmark, while AIDAstella will be visiting summer destinations in Spain and Italy.

By the end of the year, other vessels in the AIDA fleet, including the line’s newest ships, like the 183,200-ton, Excellence class LNG-powered (liquefied natural gas) AIDAcosma, built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany and delivered in 2021, will also be equipped with SpaceX’s Starlink technology.

Starlink Special Limited Time Onboard Packages

During the rollout period, AIDA passengers can take advantage of the “Starlink Special” introductory offer, which doubles the data volume for internet packages (L, XL, and XXL) at no extra cost. 

For anyone who has already booked a data package, the volume will be automatically doubled for free. Additionally, parents can delight in a 50% discount when booking the “Fifty” social media flat rate for their children and teenagers.

Teens Online
Photo Credit: AIDA Cruises

Passengers can benefit from these Starlink promotions until the internet upgrade of the entire AIDA fleet is completed in autumn 2023. AIDA customers will then be notified of the up-to-date fees before each trip and can arrange their preferred data packages through the myAIDA service portal as desired.

Carnival Corporation’s SpaceX Starlink Rollout Plans

Carnival Corporation’s plans for rolling out SpaceX’s Starlink aboard its vessels aren’t limited to AIDA Cruises. The corporation will also deploy Starlink Maritime LEO (low earth orbit) satellite technology, offering high-speed internet access, to most of its other cruise brands.

This enhanced bandwidth will bring Starlink Maritime download speeds—ranging from 100 to 350 Mbps—to brands like Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, Seabourn, Costa Cruises, Cunard, and other lines. 

Royal Caribbean Starlink
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean / Celebrity Cruises

The goal for Carnival Corporation and other companies that have added or plan to add Starlink Maritime to their fleets, such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Windstar Cruises, is to optimize guests’ internet experiences and real-time communication between ship and shore teams.

This improved connectivity for both crew and guests will increase their ability to effortlessly share cherished photos and videos with loved ones around the globe. Furthermore, ships will be better able to stay in close communication with their respective operations centers for faster updates about developing weather, itinerary changes, and other operational concerns.

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