The introduction of SpaceX’s Starlink on Holland America Line’s Pinnacle Class ship Koningsdam has been well-received by guests and crew alike.
Starlink Increases Connectivity Aboard Koningsdam
During its voyages in Alaska, Holland America Line’s (HAL) Pinnacle Class vessel Koningsdam, which came out of Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy (debuting in 2016) and measures 99,000 gross tons, garnered positive feedback from both passengers and crew following the implementation of SpaceX’s Starlink.
“For our guests and our team members, maintaining the connectivity they are accustomed to at home is an important part of the cruise experience,” HAL president Gus Antorcha remarked.
“Added bandwidth means our guests can share the joys of exploring Alaska in real time and our team can stay in touch with their loved ones back home,” Antorcha added.
This cutting-edge internet technology was integrated into the ship systems during a drydock session in April of this year and has remained in operation ever since.
SpaceX’s Starlink Shipboard Mobile Connectivity
In case you’re not entirely sure what Starlink is, here’s a brief primer:
Starlink is a new satellite internet constellation, designed by SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer and transportation firm founded by Elon Musk (maybe you’ve heard of him) back in 2002
Starlink utilizes thousands of small, low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide global broadband coverage to regions and people who have never had internet access, or only spotty access.
Unlike traditional geostationary satellites, LEO satellites are placed much closer to the planet, which in turn reduces signal latency, enabling faster internet speeds and enhanced performance.
“High-speed, low-latency internet is critical to our modern lifestyle. We’re excited that Holland America Line is seeing strong results in Alaska,” Starlink’s vice president of commercial sales Jonathan Hofeller pointed out.
As it relates to the cruise industry, Starlink has the ability to offer passengers better mobile connectivity while they’re at sea, providing a continuous internet connection for vehicles in motion—like the ships run by Holland America Line.
Koningsdam’s Starlink-Enabled Alaska Cruises
After acquiring the latest Starlink technology, Koningsdam embarked on an 18-day voyage from Vancouver to Hawaii.
The ship has now commenced its 7-day journeys along the Alaska Inside Passage, departing from Vancouver for destinations like Glacier Bay, Juneau, Ketchikan, and more.
“While it’s early in our usage, the feedback from guests and team members has been very positive so far,” Kathleen Erickson, vice president of technology for Holland America Line, said about the new Starlink system.
During its 2023 summer season, Koningsdam will make at least 20 trips from Vancouver to Alaska. Along the way, passengers will encounter a diverse range of wildlife, and be able to stand gape-mouthed as they watch icy glaciers calve, then plummet into the sea at Glacier Bay National Park.
All the while, everyone aboard Koningsdam can stay digitally connected to folks back home with Starlink, which will be added to additional ships in the fleet later this year.
Holland America’s sister line, Seabourn, has also just announced that it will be offering Starlink Wi-Fi technology on board two of its expedition ships, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit. All the Carnival Corporation brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, are rolling out the faster internet technology.