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A Greater Escape
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Great Escape Vessel Last year, Australian Satellite Communications (ASC) launched a high speed maritime service to accommodate the new commercial Sea Tel 2406 Marine Stabilized Antenna (60cm diameter reflector). ASC delivers leading edge SATCOM solutions for the maritime leisure industry and their client, The Great Escape Charter Company, is quite unlike any tour operator you have ever encountered. They are committed to providing experiences, which are genuinely extraordinary. Their hospitality is unique, personalized, and world-class — the accommodations are luxurious and customized for each passenger.

With the ever demanding corporate environment, business executives expect to recharge their batteries in luxury, whilst still keeping a finger on the pulse of their business and pure leisure seekers enjoy the ability to contact family and friends to share their experiences aboard The Great Escape.

CPI Ad SM Sep09 The Brief
The goal was to deliver a cost effective, compact satellite communications solution providing high quality Internet access and voice communications to enhance the passenger experience on a prepaid basis. Additionally, the SATCOM solution had to cater to advanced bridge and crew voice and data applications on a post paid basis and also offer stability and reliability in a wide range of sea weather conditions.

With proven reliability, stability, and availability over the GE23 satellite, ASC delivered a customised solution using iDirect broadband IP technology. This provided robust voice communications and high-speed Internet access for multiple users over an onboard wireless access point and cordless VoIP base station. Connected via a 60cm Sea Tel stabilized antenna situated in an 80cm raydome, continuous communications were established even in the harshest of sea weather environments. The Great Escape cruised north of Broome to Ashmore Reef then further north almost all the way to Indonesia, with very good performance and happy clients who were able to access fast Internet connectivity.

ASC Cobham antenna The Result
By combining four discreet services (Pre-Paid VoIP and Pre-Paid Internet access for guests, as well as Post-Paid VoIP and Post-Paid Internet access for bridge and crew applications) over a single satellite link, ASC demonstrated its expertise in designing, implementing, and supporting a unique, customized satellite communication solution for a highly demanding customer.

Due to the success of this system and the highest level of customer satisfaction, The Great Escape has extended its brief to include a TVRO Sea Tel (Television Receive Only) system. This system will provide a wide range of high quality TV entertainment for guests, increasing to five the number of combined services over a single link. The USAT 24 uses the same dome as Sea Tel’s Coastal 24 TV-at-Sea antenna, providing the perfect entertainment system for the small yacht or charter.

Integral Ad SM Sep09 This solution has opened the door to the small to medium luxury charters, dispelling the myth that satellite communications solutions are only for big vessels — these antennas use the minimum of onboard real estate. In January this year. The Great Escape luxury Kimberly Coast cruising vessel, Captain Chris Tucker (fondly known as Trippy), steamed to Geraldton for the annual refit. On the journey from Broome, he passed through the WA North West Shelf area, in which cyclone Dominic was active.

Trippy reports, “I have just navigated the Great Escape around the peripheral of cyclone Dominic. Our new marine VSAT satellite voice and data system from Australian Satellite Communications, using the small commercial grade Sea Tel 2406 antenna, was used continually. We downloaded live weather information and maintained phone contact with our Broome head office during cyclonic type weather that including some torrential rain conditions. Critical decisions needed to be made quickly in these arduous conditions and reliable high speed broadband Internet assisted greatly throughout the entire journey.”
Kylie Bartle, Great Escape Charter Company’s General Manager, says, “We are now able to conduct our business from offshore and shore-to-ship reliably. At the same time, we can also provide our clients with affordable high-speed Internet and voice via our pre-paid voice and Internet systems for safety, business, and keeping clients and crew in contact with families. From the remote Kimberly Coast region and nearly north to Indonesia, the Australian Satellite Communications MSAT service works extremely well and has made a major difference.”

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