Expanded Partnership with SES to Give Princess Cruises First Access to Ground-Breaking O3b mPOWER Satellite-Based Communications System
Princess Cruises, a leading brand of the Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), has announced a new dimension in its connectivity partnership with SES (PAR/LuxSE: SESG) and will become the first global cruise ship fleet with early access to SES’s ground-breaking O3b mPOWER network augmenting the Princess MedallionClass™ experience as it scales across the fleet.
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Expanded Partnership with SES to Give Princess Cruises First Access to Ground-Breaking O3b mPOWER Satellite-Based Communications System (Photo: Business Wire)
SES is enabling global, high-performance connectivity to Princess Cruises using its hybrid medium earth orbit (MEO) and geostationary (GEO) network. The combination of the globally-deployed Princess MedallionClass ships, the Ocean Guest Experience “Cloud Connected” Platform and SES’s multi-constellations satellite network not only creates unmatched and ubiquitous global Wi-Fi service levels, but ensures seamless land/sea digital experience enablement including OceanView® TV (OTT, Mobile and VOD) and is disrupting the traditional commodity satellite bandwidth model.
As the innovation partner for Princess MedallionClass, Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation unit is elevating the SES partner relationship through 2023. The Premier Innovation Partner status makes SES a fully-integrated development partner of Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation unit, spanning design, creation and delivery for game-changing connected guest experience innovations, technical platform development, intelligence and hybrid cloud and edge compute enablement. As a result, Princess MedallionClass, which is enabled by the OceanMedallionTM and powered by SES, will be the first cruise ships to access SES’s ground-breaking O3b mPOWER satellite-based communications system. The SES brand will also be incorporated into the OceanMedallion, further symbolizing the integrated relationship.
To date, the most significant development of the partnership has been MedallionNet®, the best WiFi at sea, which has raised the bar for guest connectivity in the cruise industry. Since 2017, MedallionNet has been offering fast, unlimited, reliable and affordable guest connectivity exclusively to the Princess fleet.
The expanded partnership recognizes SES’s integral role in enabling the Ocean Guest Experience PlatformTM with real-time xIoTTM, edge, cloud and shoreside intelligence synchronization on Princess MedalllionClass Ships. Princess MedallionClass will be fully active on 11 ships by the end of 2020 with a new ship activated every 60 days.
The game-changing O3b mPOWER from SES will ensure that Princess MedallionClass Ships are not constrained by traditional bandwidth capacity plans. As a Premiere Global Experience and Innovation partner, SES will keep bandwidth ahead of demand with multi-Gbps capacity whenever and wherever needed. Whether activating a new MedallionClass ship, visualizing real-time ship digital clones or powering virtual ship/shore collaboration, bandwidth constraints never impact innovation team access, speed or engagement fidelity.
Furthermore, dynamic bandwidth deployment on demand through a fully-managed, high-performance ship access point to a shoreside end-point holistically ensures unique ship itineraries and specialized guest events always meet the highest service levels possible from San Francisco to Singapore and Helsinki to Hobart. Whether a guest is streaming original content via OceanView, placing a wager on a big game with Ocean® SportsBook, playing massive multi-player video game, streaming video from favourite streaming service or checking home security cameras, SES’s O3b mPOWER provides dynamic bandwidth giving Princess guests the land-like online performance they expect.
Throughout 2020, Princess Cruises will host a series of events leveraging MedallionNet powered by SES to demonstrate that guests no longer need to worry about slow internet speeds and unreasonable connectivity costs. Planned events include:
• February 11, a record-breaking Vow Renewal onboard the Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Crown Princess will be shared with loved ones around the world during a massive pre-Valentine’s Day ceremony.
• March 29, Grand Princess will become the first Princess MedallionClass Ship sailing exclusive Hawaii itineraries.
• June 15, Enchanted Princess will join the MedallionClass fleet.
• August 16, Emerald Princess will become the first to transform into a MedallionClass ship while sailing Alaskan itineraries.
• October 20, Coral Princess launch event from Los Angeles.
• December 20, Island Princess transforms into a MedallionClass ship and will be the first fully connected cruise ship to sail in the Middle East in early 2021.
“The future is now with real solutions and proven technology delivering real experiences to floating smart cities around the globe powering a coveted experience. SES integration into the Global Experience and Innovation team not only provides world-leading connectivity technology and fuelling OceanMedallion capabilities, but most importantly provides expertise that is passionate about creating amazing experiences through the fusion of creativity, story, connectivity and media across the world,” said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. “Our first joint creation, MedallionNet, has significantly elevated the cruise experience for our guests and crew, but more importantly stimulated the creation of leading-edge, cloud-based edge compute models that were previously considered impossible.”
“The relentless focus of the Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation teams to create personalized, simplified and connected guest experiences inspired us to push the boundaries of the connectivity norm at sea, and set a higher benchmark for connected guest experiences,” said JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks, the data-centric business unit of SES. “With MedallionNet, we helped deliver a new and holistic model that sets an entirely new standard for cruise ship connectivity around the world. By extending and expanding our Premier Innovation Partner relationship, we are leveraging our unprecedented position in multi-constellation satellite networks and consistently focusing on delivering high performance and pushing the envelope of what’s possible.”
Carnival Corporation’s proprietary Ocean Guest Experience Platform is powered by the OceanMedallion and enabled by SES. The MedallionClass experience utilising the OceanMedallion and the Ocean Guest Experience Platform is exclusive to Princess Cruises and being leveraged to enhance guest-crew interactions and deliver a high level of service personalization on an unprecedented scale.
The Medallion enables keyless stateroom entry, hassle-free payment, turn-by-turn shipboard wayfinding, shipmate locator and personalized itineraries; speeds up embarkation; facilitates on-demand services like ordering food, drinks and merchandise; powers anywhere wagering; and more. MedallionClass vacations currently are available for all guests sailing on six Princess Cruises Ships – Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess, and Sky Princess.
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SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,200 channels and has an unparalleled reach of over 355 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content. The company is listed on Paris and Luxembourg stock exchanges (Ticker: SESG). Further information is available at: www.ses.com.
About Princess Cruises
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 18 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica and World Cruises. A team of professional destination experts have curated 170 itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days and Princess Cruises is continuously recognized as “Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.”
In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to do the things they love most. MedallionClass Vacations will be activated on 11 ships by the end of 2020 and continue across the global fleet in 2021.
Princess Cruises continues its multi-year, “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million-dollar product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements result in more moments of awe, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation. The product innovations include partnerships with award-winning Chef Curtis Stone; engaging entertainment inspired shows with Broadway-legend Stephen Schwartz; immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities; the ultimate sleep at sea with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed and more.
Two new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship under construction, Enchanted Princess, scheduled for delivery in June 2020 followed by Discovery Princess in November 2021. Princess previously announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests are planned for delivery in 2023 and 2025. Princess now has four ships arriving over the next five years between 2020 and 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).