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Fleet Xpress for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic ship

Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress will power a new Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic adventure cruise ship, National Geographic Venture.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}Director of IT Lindblad Expeditions said Fleet Xpress was chosen as the smaller expedition vessels require a smaller VSAT terminal with the ability to provide high-speed, reliable, global coverage. The expedition vessels operate in remote locations with limited connectivity, but there is increasing demand from customers to always be connected.

Christian Cordoba, Inmarsat Maritime channel manager for Yachting and Passenger said the new generation of expedition cruisers have high expectations for connectivity, which they consider a lifestyle entertainment. “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.”

“Combining the high data speed of Ka-band and continuous L-band back-up with purpose-designed and easy to install 1m terminals allows Fleet Xpress achieves 24/7 coverage, stability and reliability, including high-speed IoT connectivity, whether the ship is in the Arctic or miles up an inland channel.”

“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.”

The expedition ship was built by US yard Nichols Brothers and has been ice strengthened to operate in remote locations with coastal waters, shallow coves, and fast-moving channels with around 100 guests and 50 crew on-board.  The ship completed its first cruise around the Galapagos Islands in December 2018 before moving to Baja California. It is destined for the Pacific North West coast and Alaskan cruising in the next few months.

Fleet Xpress is now installed on board six of the Lindblad Expeditions ships. Fleet Xpress is fully integrated with the ship phone systems (PABX), and the internal communications platforms and local area networks used to optimise vessel operations.{/mprestriction}

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