MSC Cruises Rolling Out Starlink Across All Vessels

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MSC Cruises has announced the integration of SpaceX’s Starlink across its fleet, with completion expected by May 2024. MSC Cruises began trialing Starlink as early as December 2022, and since then, over two-thirds of its fleet has been outfitted with the upgraded internet systems.

With the addition of MSC Cruises, all major cruise operators, including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Royal Caribbean International, and Carnival Corporation, have made the switch to Starlink.

As cruise lines move towards a more connected experience onboard, the innovations that Starlink has brought are a major plus for guests. Recognizing the importance of high-speed internet as a deciding factor for guests when booking a cruise, MSC Cruises has announced it aims to complete the installation of Starlink across its fleet as early as May 2024. 

As of now, two-thirds of MSC Cruises’ vessels have been equipped with Starlink, following successful bandwidth and data traffic trials in 2022. The first ship to receive this upgrade was MSC Magnifica in December 2022. With the ongoing rollout, 15 out of the 22 ships in the MSC Cruises fleet now enjoy the benefits of high-speed internet.

The integration of Starlink technology into MSC Cruises’ operations is not just about enhancing guest experience but also about meeting the increasing demands for connectivity onboard.

MSC Magnifica Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Wayleebird / Shutterstock

MSC has noted a significant rise in onboard bandwidth consumption, driven by an uptick in the number of connected devices and applications used by guests, while an increasing amount of technical and safety systems are dependent on cloud applications. 

By using the capacity that Starlink offers, MSC Cruises expects to be able to cater to the future needs of both guests and the technical operations of the fleet.

Cruise ships already enjoying Starlink’s superior connectivity include MSC Divina, MSC Euribia, MSC Fantasia, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Lirica, MSC Magnifica, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Seascape, MSC Seashore, MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, and MSC Virtuosa

In the upcoming weeks, MSC Opera and MSC World Europa will see the installation of Starlink onboard, and between March and May, the final five ships will be upgraded before the summer 2024 season.

Connectivity Packages for Guests

MSC Cruises has tailored two Wi-Fi packages for its guests: the “Browse Internet Cruise Package” for basic internet usage and the “Browse & Stream Cruise Package” for more data-intensive activities. These packages offer unlimited data and 24-hour access, with advanced booking discounts of up to 20%.

Why are MSC Cruises so cheap
Deck of an MSC Cruises Ship (Photo Credit: Nate Hovee)

Prices start at approximately $9 per day for browsing and $12 for streaming and depend on the number of connected devices, sailing area, and number of cruise days. 

Guests choosing the Browse & Stream Cruise Package will be able to enjoy everything Starlink has to offer. MSC Cruises says it expects guests to be able to use their connections for data-intensive activities such as viewing videos or accessing video or music streaming websites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Music, and YouTube.

MSC Cruises is not alone in its pursuit of enhanced onboard connectivity. All major cruise lines have started installing, or have already completed integrating Starlink, marking an industry-wide shift towards providing guests and crew with a level of internet access that rivals onshore experiences.

Royal Caribbean Starlink
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean / Celebrity Cruises

Companies such as Carnival Corporation, Virgin Voyages, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings have recognized the value of reliable and fast Wi-Fi, making significant strides to incorporate Starlink into their fleets.

Even Hurtigruten Expeditions and other expedition cruise lines operating in the polar regions have begun using Starlink in areas previously known for being extremely difficult and expensive to connect.

Read Also: Virgin Voyages Deploying Unmatched Internet Speed at Sea

The adoption of Starlink by MSC Cruises and other leading cruise lines marks an important moment in maritime travel. Providing high-speed, reliable internet access at sea, the cruise industry is narrowing the divide between sea-based and land-based vacations.

The enhancement not only elevates cruises as a compelling choice for holidays but also positions them as a viable option for individuals seeking to work while exploring the globe.

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