Viking Line has over 2,000 employees, ferrying approximately 5 million passengers between its main destinations each year. This makes it one of the leading cruise companies for passenger traffic in the Baltic Sea.
Viking Line currently has six vessels, including its two climate smart cruise ships, Viking Glory and Viking Grace, offering services to and from a number of locations, including Sweden, Finland, the Öland Islands and Estonia.
In 2012, Viking Line launched a new flagship cruise ship, Viking Grace. In the fleet’s previous vessels, not all guest cabins were fitted with TVs, but the company now wanted to equip each of the 1,100 cabins with its own linear TV system. A challenge in the past had been the amount of hardware required which, on a moving ship, takes up valuable space and stands a greater risk of disconnecting or breaking. Viking Line wanted a next-generation solution that could help overcome this issue and that was ready out of the box, whilst still offering the customization needed to suit the unique use case of a moving vessel.
Following the addition of Viking Grace to its fleet, Viking Line also ordered another new vessel, Viking Glory, which was taken into service in early 2022. The ship is fitted with 1,100 cabins and the company wanted to furnish these with a Smart TV system. However, because public internet connection is poor on a moving vessel, meaning the solution could not be run from the cloud, Viking Line needed a localized solution that made it possible to provide linear TV to its passengers over the course of its 12-hour voyages. It also wanted the ability to use this solution to run marketing campaigns and public announcements through the Smart TV system.
In 2012, Viking Line selected Hibox’s Smartroom solution to install an IPTV system directly on Philips’ new internet-enabled MediaSuite Smart TVs. This was a world-first deployment of its kind that overcame the need to install a set-top box in each of the cruise ship’s cabins. Hibox was able to implement its software directly onto the TVs, meaning that there was no need for any excess equipment besides the TV itself.
Once the Viking Glory vessel was added to the fleet in 2022, Viking Line needed to find an equally effective TV solution that could also integrate into new technology, in order to achieve a modern feel to its cabin television experience. Following on from the success with the Viking Grace deployment, Viking Line chose to renew its contract with Hibox for Viking Glory.
Hibox’s proven expertise, technological knowledge and ongoing relationship with Viking Line meant it already understood the use case and the unique limitations of installing the solution on a moving vessel. This made it possible to efficiently find a solution that fitted the client’s needs. For Viking Glory, Viking Line wanted to implement a similar, yet optimized version of what was used on Viking Grace, by running the Hibox solution on LG televisions in each of the vessel’s cabins. With the previous project taking place in 2012, Hibox refreshed its solution for Viking Glory to build a new, more optimized user experience.
In addition to providing in-cabin entertainment, the solution allows Viking Line to mute all televisions during public announcements, ensuring that vital lines of communication are not disrupted or missed. The solution also supports Viking Lines marketing, with tax-free shopping being a key source of income for many cruise ships, Viking Line can cast specific advertisements and offers to the televisions in each of the cabins, accompanied by a QR code on screen to access the offers via their phones.
Viking Line is able to deliver linear TV to its guests on both Viking Grace and Viking Glory, throughout the entire duration of their stay on board. The original ship, Viking Grace, still has the original Phillips TV sets, with approximately 50 updated TV sets on crew side. The result on both ships is an advanced user experience for passengers, akin to what they would expect at home, even when at sea. This is the first cruise line in the world to use Smart TVs for this type of experience, rather than having to rely on connecting a set-top-box.
Throughout both projects, Hibox was able to implement its software in an innovative and effective way, understanding the technicalities of getting linear TV onto a moving vessel and demonstrating superior expertise in creating a user-friendly experience that met the needs of the cabin guests and Viking Line itself.
Viking Line has experienced record success with Viking Glory, and as such, it remains the case that priority be given to ensuring a good experience on-board for all its passengers. This is certainly key to its success.
"Creating an enjoyable on-board experience for all passengers traveling with Viking Line is crucial, which made it important for us to find a high quality and accessible television solution when launching Viking Grace. With very few out-of-the-box solutions offering what we needed at the time, Hibox impressed us by rapidly tailoring its existing solution with all the adjustments we needed."
IT Specialist, Viking Line