High Guest Satisfaction as Cruise Line Completes Internet Installation

Holland America Line has completed installing Starlink's internet service on its fleet of cruise ships, boosting passenger satisfaction.

Guests traveling on Holland America Line are thrilled with the newly installed Starlink high-speed internet. The cruise line reports its guest satisfaction feedback has surged this year due to the speedy connection. 

The upgrade to Starlink’s network ensures a more reliable service in all weather conditions and locations and the cruise line has now completed its fleetwide installation.

All 11 of Holland America Line’s cruise ships have now been equipped with onboard internet service, beginning with the Pinnacle-class Koningsdam in April 2023 and concluding this month with Nieuw Amsterdam.

The upgrade to Starlink internet ensures a more reliable connection in difficult weather conditions and remote locations. Guests use the onboard service for varying reasons, including photo sharing, managing travel details and staying connected with families back home. Cruise ship officers also use the speedier connection to stay updated on fleet operations, weather reports, and other navigational challenges.

“We’ve heard from guests the new Starlink high-speed internet is better than they expected while cruising,” said Kathleen Erickson, vice president of technology for Holland America Line. “For guests who are working remotely from our ships, it has been a game-changer.”

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Ship
Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Ship

Read Also: Starlink Will Transform Internet on Cruises, But Not Everywhere

The Starlink network is particularly useful in challenging regions such as Alaska, South America and ocean crossings where unusual topography threatens connectivity.

The reliability and faster connection speeds are the big attractions of Starlink’s service. Traditional internet providers use satellites that orbit the planet at 22,000 miles above the Earth. That distance increases the time data takes to travel between the user and the satellite – also called “latency.”

Starlink’s network is powered by SpaceX’s fleet of reusable rockets, which circle the planet in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) that’s about 340 miles from Earth, thus significantly reducing latency and improving performance. 

The Starlink internet network is powered by SpaceX’s fleet of reusable rockets. SpaceX, the private spacecraft manufacturer founded by Elon Musk, made history in 2017 with the first re-launch of a rocket.

SpaceX launches the satellites into orbit from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station onboard Falcon 9 rockets. Around 20 satellites are packed into each rocket.

Royal Caribbean Starlink
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean / Celebrity Cruises

More than 5,500 satellites have been launched since 2019. Up to 12,000 satellites are planned to be deployed in coming years, though some reports suggest the total could reach 42,000.

Worth Reading: Another Cruise Line Switches to Starlink Internet 

Starlink Maritime, which manages the shipboard internet services, began in July 2022 and has implemented its service on several cruise lines, including AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International.

“Holland America Line’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies underscores our dedication to delivering an exceptional experience to our guests and team members,” said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. “The successful integration of Starlink represents a strategic move to embrace innovation and elevate connectivity and convenience while cruising.”

The cost of the service to guests is often tier-based, with some discounts available for longer voyages. In addition, packages that offer only social media use are often priced differently than more robust options that include web browsing, email, and streaming video.

Some cruise lines already have a head start using Starlink. Hurtigruten Expeditions, which operates ships from the Arctic to the Antarctic, installed Starlink on all its ships last year. 

Have you connected via Starlink on a recent cruise? What did you think of the service connectivity and speeds? Share your experiences on the Cruise Hive boards!

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