Lufthansa Systems today announced that Sea Cloud Cruises, the renowned cruise operator, has opted for its all-digital infotainment package. The IT service provider is to outfit the Sea Cloud Hussar, Sea Cloud's latest addition to its fleet of passenger sailing ships. This agreement opens up a new and exclusive customer segment for Lufthansa Systems. It will also be the first time that Sea Cloud Cruises offers its passengers in-cabin Internet and e-mail access. The contract covers the complete infrastructure, plus a maintenance agreement starting after the ship's launch in early 2010.

"With Lufthansa Systems' infotainment solution, we are extending our passenger service portfolio to include modern and highly popular features such as Internet and e-mail access during the cruise," said Konstantin Bissias, CEO of Sea Cloud Cruises. The system will also enable passengers to access information about their cruise such as shore excursions, culinary specials or ship services, as well as TV, radio and video on demand."

The technology is a great match for our philosophy, which is to offer our guests every convenience within the extraordinary, luxurious ambience of a sailing ship," Bissias said.

At 136 meters long, 17 meters wide and with a total sail size of more than 4,000 square meters, the Sea Cloud Hussar will be the largest three-mast passenger ship ever built. The 69 exterior cabins offer space for 136 passengers, who are looked after by a crew of 90. Once built in Spain, the ship will ply routes in the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. And, like its sister ships, the Sea Cloud Hussar will be sailed by hand.

"We are delighted that our infotainment solution will help make such a remarkable cruise experience even more comfortable for its passengers," comments Dr. Hannes Pfister, Senior Vice President Infrastructure Services at Lufthansa Systems. "Sea Cloud Cruises' decision demonstrates that Lufthansa Systems develops solutions which meet the most stringent requirements and can be used for a broad range of application scenarios."

Lufthansa Systems will not only be supplying the central components (server and TV streaming modules) that provide infrastructure management and control for interactive TV (iTV), but also the terminals for user interaction (set-top boxes, remote controls and keyboards). Data distribution will be achieved using a network infrastructure system equipped with its own auxiliary uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If the ship's on-board power fails, the UPS will come online automatically to provide power to the server system. It will then ensure that all devices are powered down in a secure, controlled fashion to avoid data loss or damage to hardware.

Passengers access the iTV system via a graphical user interface (GUI) and can choose to interact either by using a remote control or a keyboard. The infotainment equipment is fully integrated into the cabin's luxury furnishings and vanishes into its purpose-built fittings at the touch of a button.