Luxury Cruise Yachts to Receive Starlink Internet Access in 2023 

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The Scenic Group has announced plans to equip their ocean-going fleets with SpaceX’s high-speed Starlink. This communication upgrade should provide Scenic Group’s onboard guests with reliable internet access no matter where they happen to be on the planet, providing great connectivity in amazing destinations.

The Scenic Group, which includes Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours as well as Emerald Cruises, announced on June 30, 2023 that it will be upgrading all of the ships in its ocean-going (not river-based) fleets with Starlink internet access. 

Currently, Scenic operates 16 river- and ocean-going cruise ships. In August 2019, the cruise line unveiled its inaugural ocean-faring vessel—the polar-rated, high-end super yacht (equipped with helipads and a submersible) Scenic Eclipse

Following the introduction of the 17,545-ton Scenic Eclipse, the company then launched the polar-rated Scenic Eclipse II in April 2023, constructed in Rijeka, Croatia.

And now the Scenic Group will update its fleet, along with Emerald Cruises’ seafaring vessels like the luxury yacht Emerald Azzurra (built in Vietnam’s La Hong Shipyard in 2022), with high-speed SpaceX Starlink access.

Starlink is a satellite internet system that provides global broadband coverage using a network of small satellites in low Earth orbit. These satellites create a mesh-like network, relaying internet signals to and from ground stations. 

Scenic Eclipse
Scenic Eclipse (Photo Credit: The Scenic Group)

These Starlink improvements will offer guests aboard ships like Scenic Eclipse, which voyages to secluded locations like Antarctica, South Georgia, The Falkland Islands, and the wild Chilean Fjords in the Southern Hemisphere—or upcoming destinations like Iceland and the Scottish Isles in September 2023—the seamless ability to stay connected with their loved ones back home. 

Passengers can easily maintain constant or near-constant communication with people who are not onboard, whether for personal reasons, work, or emergencies. Starlink gives global adventurers the ability to share their remarkable experiences from remote destinations through social media, and they can also quickly share their photos and videos in near real-time.

As cruise ships are often in remote locations that may not feature reliable connectivity, or sailing around the world’s oceans without access to ground-based towers at all, Starlink’s reliable remote global internet service aligns perfectly with the needs of the cruise industry.

Starlink Spreading Throughout the Cruise Industry

Starlink Maritime is SpaceX’s internet service, launched in July 2022 and specifically designed for high-speed internet for vessels at sea. Scenic Group integrated Starlink on Scenic Eclipse II before its June 3, 2023 christening.

The company also said it would add Starlink to Emerald Azzurra by the end of June, followed by Emerald Sakara in August. Scenic Eclipse will receive Starlink by the end of 2023.

Other cruise lines that have already added Starlink access to at least part of their fleets include Holland America Line, which introduced Starlink on the Pinnacle class vessel Koningsdam in May 2023. The service received plenty of positive feedback from the ship’s passengers.

Seabourn is also adding Starlink Wi-Fi technology to two of its expedition ships: Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit.

Starlink on Hurtigruten
Photo Courtesy: Hurtigruten

Many other cruise lines have added or are planning to add Starlink connectivity to their fleets, as this seems to be the dominant internet trend in the industry.

Starlink access is being used or planned for installation by American Cruise Lines for its fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships. Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have implemented or are in the process of implementing Starlink service across their fleets as well. 

Norwegian Cruise Line has been testing Starlink on its ships in 2023. Windstar Cruises also plans to feature Starlink connectivity for its guests. The list of cruising companies adding Starlink Maritime in the future will likely only continue to grow.

Guests interested in using Starlink onboard should note that Wi-Fi plans and costs vary for each cruise line, and connectivity success and speeds can vary depending on the ship’s location and how popular internet use is at any given time.

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