Already rolled out on the Silver Cloud, guests can now watch TV, on-demand movies and enjoy newspapers from their mobile devices and laptops. Silversea plans to have the service on four more ships, the Shadow, Whisper, Wind and Galapagos by year’s end.

The server can be accessed on any Wi-Fi-enabled device, ranging from iPads to more classic laptops.  

 “We have made a considerable investment of time and money over the past two years to put an infrastructure in place that would support rich guest services and media distribution throughout our vessels,” said Jason Cohn, director of IT infrastructure. “We’ve replaced full networks and re-deployed our wireless infrastructure. By utilizing Aruba Wireless Systems and HP Networks as well as reliable HP Server Infrastructure, we’ve been able to create an environment that is robust and stable.”    

For passengers to access the new streaming options, all they need to do is connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi network and open their internet browser.

 “Once they are connected, they open their browser and are automatically directed to the vessel’s landing page.  From there they can choose a movie or live television channel to watch or they can login and purchase an internet package,” Cohn continued.

He plans to continue to push the streaming technology forward. His plans are to offer more music, news, and movies, but also information.

 “While most of our competitors are still struggling with the infrastructure, we’ve overcome that hurdle and are now into the fun stuff,” Cohn quipped.

Being at the fun stage didn’t come easy, as propagating a wireless signal through a maze of steel, even on a small ship, is quite difficult.

On the Silver Cloud, 55 wireless access points cover what are essentially all guest areas onboard.

 “We spent a lot of time understanding the materials of the bulkheads and the different radio characteristics in each unique area,” Cohn explained. “This helps us put the right equipment in the exact right place.  RedCell and Aruba have really proven their worth in this aspect. All staterooms and public areas are covered and connected to handle any traffic that area can possibly bear.”

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Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2013