ad info

 
CNN.com  technology > computing
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
TECHNOLOGY
TOP STORIES

Consumer group: Online privacy protections fall short

Guide to a wired Super Bowl

Debate opens on making e-commerce law consistent

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 11,000 killed in India quake

Mideast negotiators want to continue talks after Israeli elections

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Cruise lines launch Internet-at-sea access

Computerworld

March 28, 2000
Web posted at: 9:41 a.m. EST (1441 GMT)

(IDG) -- The cruise industry has started a mad scramble to connect its ships to the Internet to compete with resort hotels that already wire their land-based guests.

Most U.S.-based ships, which boarded 4 million passengers from Florida alone last year, are expected to provide satellite connectivity to the Internet by the end of the year. That's just 17 months since Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.'s (NCL) Norwegian Sky set sail with the first seaborne Internet café last August.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

The companies have discovered that Internet access has become a competitive necessity, not only in a marketing battle with other cruise lines, but also with high-end resort hotels, where the available service to check e-mail is a given.

Rippling impact

"The demand for Web access at sea shows the influence of the Internet on our lives," said Perry Sandberg, director of new build solutions at Royal Caribbean Lines Ltd. in Miami. Sandberg, who spearheads Royal Caribbean's Internet-at-sea efforts, said the company has Internet cafes on 11 ships and has started deploying the Net on five more and will install cafes on another five ships by the end of the year.

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  Computerworld's home page
  Computerworld Year 2000 resource center
  Computerworld's online subscription center
  IDG.net's product reviews page
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  E-BusinessWorld
  Year 2000 World
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletter for IT leaders
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

Jim Lazazzera, vice president of information services at Premier Cruise Lines in Port Canaveral, Fla., said, "We market to kids. They want to use computers. In fact, the kids research the cruises over the Internet." Premier plans to complete Internet caf installations on its Big Red Boat fleet of four ships well before year's end.

Cruise passengers "don't want to be too far from what's going on in the world," according to Armando Martinez, director of onboard revenue at Miami-based NCL, which plans to outfit its nine-ship fleet for online access before next year. He said the ability to access stock market prices via the Web ranked just behind e-mail as the most-used services on NCL ships.

Unlimited revenue potential

Martinez said Internet access affects revenue, with NCL charging up to $45 per hour.

Glenn Farrington, CEO of Digital Seas International Inc. in New York, said the revenue streams from Internet-at-sea access don't end with the connection charges. "We use flat-panel monitors from Denmark, and if someone likes it, they can buy it. . . . The e-commerce possibilities are unlimited."

Digital Seas designed and installed the Internet cafes for both NCL and Premier, and also has contracts with Seattle-based Holland-America Lines, Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Renaissance Cruises Inc.

The cruise lines' Internet links don't incur much in additional costs, because they already use broadband satellite services to manage inventories, run credit cards and tie shipboard office and engineering systems to shore-based offices, according to Brad Wiggins, president of Maritime Telecommunications Network Inc. in Miami. Maritime provides satellite services for Digital Seas and its customers.

The Internet-at-sea battle won't end with just public-access cafes. All the major cruise lines are installing shipwide fiber-optic networks on their new builds to provide in-room access. But don't expect any bargains, because the cruise lines have said they intend to charge the same high rates for in-room access as cafe access.



RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Cruise line offers telemedicine link
Computerworld
AOL of the oceans?
Computerworld
Most travel Web sites suffer basic usability problems
Computerworld
Online travel sites hurt traditional agencies
Computerworld
Expedia launches new feature to find cheap plane tickets
Computerworld

RELATED SITES:
Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.'s (NCL)
Royal Caribbean Lines
Premier Cruise Lines
Digital Seas International Inc.
Carnival Cruise Lines Inc.

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.