SES and SpaceX’s Starlink to Revolutionize Cruise Ship Connectivity

SES and SpaceX’s Starlink have jointly announced a new satellite connectivity solution for the cruise industry, offering unprecedented bandwidth capacity of up to 3 Gbps per ship.

The service, dubbed SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink, will provide 24/7 high-speed and secure connectivity to cruise ships, irrespective of their geographical location or route.

“By being the only one in the cruise industry to expand our unique multi-orbit GEO and MEO network to utilize LEO, we believe it opens new opportunities for us to meet the needs of cruise guests and crew members, and the operational requirements of cruise operators to accelerate their digital transformations – wherever they may be,” said John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Strategy Officer at SES.

The offering integrates the low-earth orbit (LEO) capabilities of Starlink with the medium earth orbit (MEO) services of SES. Cruise operators have the option to choose between a Premium tier, offering up to 3 Gbps per ship for industry-leading ships, and a Pro tier, providing up to 1.5 Gbps per ship for operators aiming to customize the user experience.

SES, a pioneer in delivering connectivity services to the cruise industry for the past decade, has expanded its services to include LEO-based solutions through its partnership with Starlink.

“We are excited to collaborate with SES on a joint solution that combines the reach and capacity of both satellite constellations to offer a solution unlike any other in the market,” said Chad Gibbs, SpaceX’s Vice President of Starlink Business Operations.

The collaboration comes at a time when the cruise industry is pushing technological boundaries, partly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for high-performance, always-on connectivity is further accentuated by new maritime regulations and a growing focus on reducing carbon emissions.

Available in Q4 2023, the SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink service aims to set a new global standard for ship connectivity. It promises to fulfill the growing demands for an enhanced guest experience, optimized smart ship operations, and reduced operational costs.