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Hapag-Lloyd Cruises agrees new VSAT deal

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has signed a renewed contract with Marlink for the provision of VSAT services on its fleet of four cruise vessels, while also adding two new cruise ships which are due to enter operational service in 2019.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The contract renewal comes as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises expands its operations in the adventure and expedition cruises market in remote areas such as the Arctic and Antarctic, which will be supported by Marlink’s recent addition of a range of new satellites and overlapping Ku-band beams to its Sealink VSAT network

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ vessel Europa was the first of its ships to deploy Sealink, in September 2004, followed by Bremen in August 2006, Hanseatic in May 2007, and Europa 2 in April 2013.

Hanseatic is due to leave the fleet in October 2018, but three new cruise vessels, Hanseatic Nature, Hanseatic Inspiration and Hanseatic Spirit, are currently under construction and are due to be delivered from the shipyard in Norway in April 2019, October 2019 and in 2021 respectively.

The ships will use a dual onboard VSAT system to supply redundancy and increase operational availability, supported by multiple backup services.

“We are excited to be in a position where we can continue our mutually beneficial relationship with Hapag-Lloyd Cruises into the future,” said Tore Morten Olsen, president maritime, Marlink.

“The fact that our Sealink services have been selected for the company’s two new flagship cruise vessels corroborates the long-standing reliability and impeccable standard of service that Hapag-Lloyd Cruises have justifiably come to expect from Marlink.”

In related news, Marlink has also announced the introduction of XChange FX, a management system for its customers using Inmarsat Fleet Xpress voice and data services that provides previously unavailable network and service information in real-time. The hardware can be used to manage usage according to status and allow Marlink support to better deal with any issues.

Developed by Marlink and Inmarsat’s engineers and powered by Soft NSD (Network Switching Device) V1.5, XChange FX includes a built in LCD screen to enable usage patterns to be adjusted on the unit, with more in-depth data available in a customer dashboard available on board and accessible by  Marlink support staff to support remote troubleshooting.

The system will also manage delivery of future firmware and software updates over-the-air to the FX equipment on board.

“Our multi-band network strategy ensures we can provide the best service whatever the requirements, so bringing the same added value to Fleet Xpress customers that we offer on our other Ku and Ka-band services was important from day one,” said Mr Olsen.

“To achieve this, we are connected to all three Global Xpress ‘meet me’ points, which enables us to make our portfolio of business critical solutions available on Fleet Xpress. With XChange FX we are leading the way, by making network status and statistics readily available to the user, ensuring they can optimise their connectivity and ensure availability of business critical digital solutions.”{/mprestriction}

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