Internet: an absolute necessity
Nowadays, even on a 5-star holiday with exquisite cuisine, satin sheets and exceptional leisure activities, secure online connectivity is more than just another luxury; it’s an absolute necessity. Passengers expect not only to be able to go online wherever and whenever they desire, but with the same internet speeds as they are accustomed to at home and at work. Passengers want to keep in touch with their family, friends and colleagues at all times: skyping, facetiming, sending pictures, instagramming, or even conferencing calling or sending/receiving documents for work.
Lack of – or even intermittent – connectivity can lead to passenger dissatisfaction, complaints, negative (online) reviews, or even insurance claims. But even though a day without internet is becoming quickly unimaginable, providing secure connectivity in an environment like a river cruise is anything but straight-forward! First, considering that each passenger will bring several devices onboard (e.g. smartphone, laptop, tablet), a ship with 80 cabins requires the bandwidth of an average onshore office building. Second, a cruise vessel is moving continuously, crossing borders and occasionally entering areas without good reception or freely available internet. Third, you have to contend with the inevitable data traffic peaks as passengers return from their offshore city excursions and all simultaneously want to pick up on their communications, often sharing their experiences with photos and videos.
Finally, besides the passengers’ need for Wi-Fi, the shipyards and river cruise lines depend upon connectivity for their onboard ICT system to manage their day-to-day operations. A luxury river cruise vessel is both a floating luxury hotel and transport system. The idea of either one of these without connectivity is almost ludicrous.
Broadband internet is provided by a technique called bonding. Our bonding routers bond (or stack) together different networking media, such as 4G/LTE or fiber, from multiple providers. The advantage of bonded internet lines is that a single virtual broadband line (‘’tunnel’’) is created based on the combined broadband bandwidths, resulting in more bandwidth for your applications. A further advantage of bonding is the fact that an interruption of a bonded line will not affect the applications using the bonded link. In the case of a moving vessel, for which continuous connectivity is critical, bonding is the best solution! Bonding’s ability to dynamically distribute available bandwidth ensures maximum enjoyment and peace of mind to passengers and crew members alike.
Connection to the internet is not provided via the vessel itself but via our data center. The broadband connection (tunnel) flows to the data center from where internet access is provided, making it possible to stack lines and obtain the required bandwidth. Managing this all through our data center allows for the greatest degree of control and the highest level of security. We even employ a special amplifier to ensure a stable connection in areas where coverage is weak.
Besides the internet, there are several other building blocks that can be centralized:
- Content filtering
- Email filtering
- Consolidating the cash register systems
- Managing the onboard WiFi access points
We have your back
As a network infrastructure provider, we are responsible for anything connected to an ethernet cable; from the film system in the guest cabin to the computer-controlled beer tap in the lounge, everything is monitored 24/7 from our support desks in the Netherlands and Budapest. Every connected vessel requires a constant online presence, for both safety (proper resource management) and satisfaction (reliable internet access for passengers). Our system is able to carefully control the balance between (guest) satisfaction and costs.
Clever use of offloading through our strategically located base stations (using fiber connections) allows us to optimize the cost-satisfaction balance and provide guests with the highest speeds possible for data-intensive activities like updating their operating systems or making personal back-ups.
Almost an office
Our solution takes the day-to-day management tasks of a traveling hotel and combines it with a high level of reliability and flexibility (hosted on a central “virtual” duplicate server environment).
- Check-in & check-out registration
- Front and back office for all reception tasks
- Sales of onshore excursions
- Sales of the onboard shops
- Gangway security by means of mobile scanners for day-to-day passenger registration
- Touch Point of Sale System
- Potential for integration with the infotainment system: such as a personalized welcome message, personalized housekeeping message, a preview of passenger’s checking account.
Infotainment covers everything from TV reception, internet access and conferencing facilities to IP TV, Audio & Video-on-Demand (VoD) servers, with wireless access in all areas.
- Almost unlimited supply of TV and radio channels
- Internet in all cabins (Wi-Fi and/or wired)
- Comprehensive video and music on demand (VoD/MoD) capabilities, earnings and other guest entertainment
- Latest weather reports
- Link to your management system for billing on screen, express checkout and restaurant reservations
- And much, much more...
Bondix Benefits for River Cruise
- Simple: 1 solution, 1 supplier, 1 contract
- Secure: centralized and managed connections in our own data center
- Control: user-friendly management software
- Global: mobile data in 200+ countries with 600+ networks
- Affordable: avoid high CAPEX and development time
- Fast: high data volumes through bonded broadband connections
- Smooth: seamless redundancy
- Virtual: customer cloud portal
- Manageable: monthly fee with no surprises
- Reliable: highly secured and 100% uptime
- Flexible: adaptation of data volume during peak times
Our river cruise customers operate 5-star vessels. So our Bondix solution can’t be anything less than a 5-star service!
The best for the best, by M2MBlue.