Royal Caribbean on Tuesday announced plans to launch Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service across its entire cruise fleet.
The company will be the first in the cruise industry to install this service on its ships. He said satellite internet would be rolled out immediately and he expected installation on his cruise ships to be complete by April 2023.
The company said it conducted a trial on one of its ships, Freedom of the Seas, and determined that Starlink performed well enough to adopt internet service across its entire fleet. Previously, the company allowed customers to purchase VOOM Internet onboard its ships for approximately $19.99 per day per device. The cruise industry has historically poor WiFi options for guests.
“This technology will provide breakthrough internet connectivity onboard our ships, enhancing the cruise experience for passengers and crew,” said Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, in the press release. . “It will improve and enable more high-speed activities like video streaming as well as activities like video calling.”
In June, the cruise line urged the Federal Communications Commission to approve SpaceX’s request for permission to use Starlink aboard moving vehicles, including ships and motor homes. Less than a month later, the FCC approved satellite Internet service for vehicles in motion.
SpaceX has also negotiated with several airlines to provide in-flight WiFi, including Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and private jet service. Earlier this year, Musk said he tested Starlink on his private jet.
Last week, Musk announced that SpaceX is also partnering with T-Mobile to offer its users access to Starlink satellites starting next year.
Starlink currently has a user base of over 400,000 subscribers worldwide. The company has a network of more than 2,500 satellites in low orbit. The service is designed to provide high-speed Internet access of up to 200 Mbps to customers in rural areas and higher latitudes.