Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas. (Photo via Royal Caribbean International)
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is looking to partner with Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink to bring Wi-Fi capability to its ships, PC Magazine is reporting.
Starlink is Musk’s satellite internet that is becoming increasingly popular. Although not as fast as fiber optic, the internet service is becoming a strong option for travel-related businesses especially those with mobility such as airplanes and cruise ships.
Hawaiian Airlines, in fact, is also working with Starlink to provide Wi-Fi on its flights.
PC Mag noted that RCCL reported the potential partnership in a public filing with the Federal Communications Commission.
“Working with SpaceX Services, Inc., we believe we have identified a true next generation solution for our vessels that meets the rigorous technical and operational requirements commensurate with our growth plans,” the company said.
Wi-Fi on cruise ships has always been something of a bugaboo, both for cruise lines and their customers. It borders on maddeningly slow if not outright unavailable at times. A satellite service like Starlink could be the answer but the FCC still has yet to approve Starlink’s application to operate on moving vehicles.
RCCL has been one of the travel-related companies pushing the government agency to approve the plan.
“We believe our work with SpaceX, the first of its kind in the cruise industry will set the standard for other cruise operators and will mean a leap in terms of guest experience and business operations while at sea,” the company said in its filing. “For this reason, we are eager to advocate for new market entrants to drive a marketplace innovation step change. The increase in marine vessel operations—whether cargo, cruise, commercial or personal watercraft—as well as the technology industry shift to cloud-based software solutions, has meant an increase in satellite internet service demand. Yet the supply side of the satellite internet equation has suffered from attrition, bankruptcies, and consolidation.”