Fleet Xpress powers National Geographic Venture’s connectivity services (Image: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic)
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has chosen to use Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress platform to power connectivity and communication services onboard its newest adventure cruise ship, National Geographic Venture.
Fleet Xpress combines the high data speed of Ka-band and continuous L-band back-up with small VSAT terminals to provide the ship’s 100 guests and 50 crew members with 24/7 reliable and fast communication services.
“Fleet Xpress is the right fit for our fleet of smaller expedition vessels due to the requirement of a smaller VSAT terminal and the ability to provide high-speed, reliable, global coverage as these vessels sail to remote parts the globe where connectivity is limited and our guest expectation is always to be connected,” said Arthur Theodorou, director of IT at Lindblad Expeditions.
Inmarsat has integrated Fleet Xpress with the ship phone systems and the internal communications platforms, as well as the local area networks that are used to optimise vessel operations.
Six of Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s ships now rely on the Fleet Xpress platform for data connectivity, including National Geographic Venture’s sister ship National Geographic Quest, delivered in 2017. Sea Bird, Sea Lion, Endeavour II and Islander were also retrofitted with the platform.
“For adventure cruisers today, connectivity is part of the package they are paying for; this is an audience which expects a highly educational vacation, but also to share experiences online instantaneously,” said Christian Cordoba, manager of Inmarsat Maritime Channel for Yachting and Passenger. “From the owner’s perspective, Fleet Xpress is also the answer because these compact ships don’t have the real estate for the sizeable terminals larger cruise ships use to connect via C-band. Meanwhile, L-band alone falls short on data speeds and Ku-band services may work with compact shipboard terminals, but they can’t offer the benefit of a seamless global coverage the itineraries demand.”
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