Cruise line firm Windstar is the latest maritime customer to tap SpaceX’s Starlink for its satellite Internet services.
Windstar Cruises this month announced the launch of its Starlink Maritime WiFi on the Star Pride during a recent Caribbean voyage, and plans to implement Starlink across most of its six-vessel-strong fleet by mid-2023.
The Star Legend will offer the service this spring, followed by Wind Surf, Wind Star, and Star Breeze. Wind Spirit will activate the new technology as soon as it’s available in French Polynesia.
All Windstar vessels currently use geostationary satellite services from Anuvu for Internet services. Anuvu, a maritime and aviation connectivity provider previously known as Global Eagle, signed a reseller agreement with Starlink earlier this year.
“I am thrilled to be working with Anuvu and Starlink to offer our guests the latest in satellite technology," said Gregg Wagner, technology director at Windstar Cruises. “When the ships are inside the service area, faster speeds will alleviate much of the frustration felt at peak use times.”
“Starlink is yet to be available worldwide, but Windstar Cruises is excited to be among the first in the cruise industry to offer this cutting-edge technology. The addition of high-speed Internet service with our current geostationary satellite service will enable guests to stay connected to family and friends.”
Founded in 1984, Windstar operates a fleet of six small cruise ships carrying 148-342 guests. It is part of the Anschutz Corporation, which is owned by Xanterra Travel Collection. The Anschutz Corporation previously owned Des Moines-based colocation provider LightEdge until it was acquired by GI Partners in 2021.
The company has also signed deals with cruise liner providers Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation, and Hurtigruten. Boutique cruise operator SeaDream Yacht Club’s two luxury yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, have also deployed Starlink, as well as American Cruise Line’s 17 small ships and riverboats in the US.