Carnival Corporation has announced a new agreement with SpaceX’s Starlink to bring high-speed internet to all of the company’s cruise brands.
On January 18, 2023, Carnival Corporation announced a partnership with satellite technology leader Starlink to upgrade guest and crew connectivity with faster and greater connectivity to ships. The upgrades have already begun with the company’s Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises brands.
Carnival to install Starlink internet on several cruise brands
The agreement with SpaceX brand Starlink will bring the next generation of internet connectivity to the fleet, in the latest of a series of moves that have nearly tripled bandwidth on board since 2019.
Starlink, the industry leader in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology, will provide faster service, greater capacity, and more reliable Wi-Fi across the company’s global fleet.
Carnival’s rollout of Starlink internet service began in December 2022 aboard Carnival and AIDA ships. The company plans to expand Starlink to several of its other cruise brands, which include Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, Seabourn, P&O Cruises, and Cunard.
Starlink enhancement to upgrade speed and reliability
With speeds rivaling on-land connectivity, guests will be able to share photos and videos, stream movies and live sporting events, and enjoy other content onboard with a reliable connection.
“For many of our guests, it has become more and more important to maintain the type of connectivity at sea that they’ve become accustomed to at home, and of course to share the unforgettable experiences of their cruise with friends and family,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation.
According to Weinstein, “The added bandwidth will give the brands the capabilities and flexibility to introduce new guest services and features, as well as help boost operational functions like onboard equipment monitoring and real-time communications between ship and shore teams. And importantly, adding Starlink’s innovative technology to the company’s existing connectivity platform will also help our amazing crew stay in touch with friends and loved ones.”
What is Starlink?
Starlink is a satellite constellation system developed to deliver global internet coverage. The system has been used to bring internet connectivity to geographically isolated areas—such as a cruise ship at sea—where connectivity is unavailable or unreliable.
A SpaceX venture to create a global broadband network, Starlink uses Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to provide high-speed internet. SpaceX is a rocket and spacecraft company founded by Elon Musk in 2002.
The development of the Starlink network began in 2015, with prototype satellites launched in 2018. Today, the company has more than 2000 LEO satellites in orbit.
Other cruise lines already using Starlink internet
Carnival Corporation isn’t the first cruise company to switch to Starlink internet. Several other brands are already using Starlink for onboard Wi-Fi, or are in the process of rolling it out.
These brands include Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Silversea Cruises, SeaDream, American Cruise Lines, and Hurtigruten Expeditions.
Do you usually buy an internet package when you cruise? Are you excited about Carnival Corporation’s new partnership with Starlink? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!