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Genting Hong Kong selects Harris CapRock to transform communication services on Star Cruises' ships

Genting Corporate Services (HK) Limited has selected Harris CapRock Communications (HCC) to transform communication services onboard the Star Cruises’ fleet of six ships. Star Cruises is one of the largest cruise lines in the world and is the leading cruise line in the Asia Pacific region.

Harris CapRock will use its advanced technologies and equipment to boost bandwidth nearly 300% onboard Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo, SuperStar Gemini, SuperStar Libra, SuperStar Aquarius, Star Pisces and Taipan ships. The solution uses Harris CapRock’s uncontended Time Divisional Multiple Access (TDMA) network. Unlike traditional TDMA networks, the uncontended network ensures access to committed bandwidth levels at all times, providing an innovation over conventional TDMA networks.

Star Cruises recognizes and caters to the unique needs of guests from the Asia Pacific region. For example, internet users in China spend five to six more hours online per week than Americans and an average of almost 90 minutes per day on social networks. With this enterprising project, Star Cruises will satisfy guests’ who desire premium connectivity and accompanying services.

Scanship sells total clean ship systems to two ships to be built in Italy

Scanship Holding ASA has through its subsidiary Scanship AS, been awarded contracts for delivery of total clean ship system for two cruise vessels at an Italian shipyard.

The main delivery of equipment will take place in 2017 and in 2018. The total clean ship system includes process technology for foodwaste, garbage and wastewater, the company said in a statement.

It did not provide further details. In the past, it has sold equipment e.g. to Viking Ocean Cruises.

Ship repairer BLRT Grupp acquires 235 metre floating dock

BLRT Grupp, the listed Estonian ship repairer that carries out refits of cruise ferries, says it has acquired a floating dock from the Adriatic Shipyard Bijela in Montenegro, which will be installed in the Western Shipyard, located in Klaipeda.

A new dock with dimensions of 235 meters in length and 45 meters in width will be the largest in the Baltic States. It opens up new opportunities for the ship owners and shipyards in repair and modernization of Panamax- type ships.

BLRT Grupp comprises three ship repair yards in Estonia, Lithuania and Finland. It has one dry dock and eight floating docks and the newly acquired dock is the group’s ninth and the largest floating dock.

“One of the main task of developing strategy of the ship repair yards, belonging the BLRT Grupp, is providing services to the ship owners at the most favorable site. Nowadays the concern can service the big vessels in its dry dock in Turku Repair Yard in Finland, which is the largest in the Northern Europe. From now on this opportunity will also receive the ship owners in Klaipeda,“ said Igor Kond, the Member of the Board of BLRT Grupp and the Chairman of the Council of Directors of Ship Repair Yards.

"An acquisition of dock is one part of a joint project of BLRT Grupp and Klaipeda State Port, started in 2015, which is dedicated to development of the capacity of the port infrastructure, BLRT Grupp and other operators, located in the port,“ he added.

MSC Cruises and Marlink to enhance guest connectivity across fleet with new technology

MSC Cruises announced that it has worked together with Marlink – the pioneer of business critical communication solutions for customers operating in remote environments – to launch a next-generation connectivity for MSC Cruises’ fleet with multi-band VSAT services.

Working with Marlink, MSC Cruises will provide dynamic bandwidth to its 12 existing ships as well as the next-generation ships currently under construction, including MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside. No matter the itinerary of the ships, the bandwidth will be able to accommodate seasonal fluctuations, thus optimising the dedicated ‘cloud of bandwidth’ available exclusively for MSC Cruises, ensuring all of the company’s ships will be covered by one of the satellites that create a global service.

MSC Cruises’ extensive bandwidth upgrade has been implemented to meet the growing demand from guests for fast social media and web access, access to work and streaming services. Marlink’s new services will provide unmatched levels of connectivity for MSC Cruises guests throughout the company’s itineraries the world over.

This announcement reflects MSC Cruises’ position as an innovative and forward-thinking cruise line by offering one of the most advanced guest connectivity services available at sea. With several hundred Mbit/s available in Marlink’s Sealink Cloud, MSC Cruises will deliver a whole new online experience for guests that are hungrier than ever for cost-effective, reliable Internet access for various usages while enjoying their holidays.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO commented: ““We are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and enhance guest experience aboard what is already the most modern fleet at sea. Working with Marlink, we are rolling out state-of-the-art technology to allow them to stay connected whether they are looking to share experiences and memorable moments, stay in touch with friends and family, need to stay on top of work emails or simply catch up with daily news.”

Marlink is installing a multi-band satellite communications solution that combines capacity on new Ku-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) and traditional Ku-band widebeam satellites. The new services will allow fast, reliable access to the web – including of course social media sites – for guests across MSC Cruises’ 12 cruise ships. The upgrade builds on MSC Cruises already highly advanced VSAT network with new high throughput modems and network configuration designed to handle huge amounts of capacity from different satellite operators.

“Connectivity is today one of the most important aspects of the cruise guest experience. In order to provide seamless global access, with high availability for all users, together with MSC Cruises we are currently deploying the most advanced cruise ship VSAT network seen to date,” said Tore Morten Olsen, President Maritime, Marlink. “MSC Cruises will be the first fleet-wide VSAT network to dynamically integrate 'a cloud' of satellite capacity, ensuring the availability of high bandwidth for thousands of guests, wherever they are cruising.”

Reflecting Marlink’s role as the leading provider of business critical communication solutions for maritime and land customers, this latest service upgrade for MSC Cruises also includes satellite back-up services for MSC Cruises offices on shore and integration of terrestrial services for improved redundancy.

Wärtsilä to provide turnkey electrical systems for four new roro ferries

Wärtsilä has been awarded the contract to provide integrated turnkey electrical solutions for four new RoRo ferries being built at the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) yard in Germany. The electrical systems to be delivered include all products and services available from Wärtsilä SAM Electronics. The vessels are contracted by SIEM RoRo Carriers Ltd., and two will be chartered to Denmark's DFDS and two to EKOL of Turkey. The contract with Wärtsilä was signed in the second quarter of this year.

The full Wärtsilä scope of supply covers the electrical systems engineering and project management, supply and installation of the cables and equipment, Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum navigation and automation, external and internal communication systems, energy distribution, the lighting system, and the engine control room consoles. The contract started immediately and first equipment is scheduled for summer 2016.

The 11,000 deadweight ferries are 209 metres in length and have cabins for 12 drivers and capacity for 283 trailers.

"We have enjoyed a successful partnership with FSG for more than 20 years, and we are proud that this good cooperation is continued with these four vessels. The success of turnkey system integration depends very much on this kind of close relationship," says Stephan Kuhn, Vice President, Electrical & Automation, Wärtsilä.

"Wärtsilä SAM Electronics are fully familiar with the products and support required for these vessels, having repeated installations on these RoRo's for many years. With the full integration and repeat of the systems, we expect an improvement in efficiency and reduction in risk," says Alex Gregg-Smith, Managing Director of FSG.

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