SQL Server Guidance Requested

Hello everyone,
I hope I can get some help. I along with another developer, maintain a Microsoft Access solution that is giving us lots of trouble lately in the area of database corruption. We talk about using a SQL Server backend combined with an Access frontend all the time but never actually do it for numerous reasons. I’d like to get informed of what is needed and get going in this direction sooner rather than later. I have two very high level questions.

  1. How will we get the data from the Ships to our corporate Shore side office?
  2. If cloud based computing is potentially part of the strategy, pros and cons?

The following is a summary of the Access solution we have in place for a cruise line.
A cruise line has cruise ships. A cruise ship conducts voyages. On a voyage transactions occur. During the voyage, transactions, settlements and other information are entered into an Access database backend file through an Access frontend file. At the shore side office we have essentially the same Access solution that the ships use. We have a process in place in which at the end of a voyage the ship emails us an Access file with all the information collected for the voyage. Once we receive this file at our shore side office, we can run the Journal Entry. Journal entries are done by shore-side staff accountants.
I’m imagining each ship with a free version of SQL Server as the number of users on each ship will be less than ten. Then somehow at our Shore-side office with the number of users of the system being anywhere from ten to thirty with fifteen to twenty concurrent users during peak times.
Will you good people please offer some high level direction on how we at shore side can get access to the data that is on the ships at voyage end using SQL Server, and provide suggestion game plans to make this a reality instead of wishful talk?

How good is the internet connection on these ships? by that I mean not wifi for customers but for the ship system? how good is it in the middle of the ocean? The answer to that could give you a lot of answers.
The emailing of data is not sustainable but also exposes you guys to plenty of lawsuits and stealing of personal data aka credit cards etc, if this has not happened already.

I suppose I can find out how good the internet connection is. I'll have to ask. Should I ask how many certain somethings happen per second? Or is there some kind of benchmark performance question I should pose? I do know that many network applications are run in the middle of the ocean.

And by the way we don't email personal data. When I say transactions I'm speaking loosely. The file that is emailed basically is loaded with sales amounts and such.

but they are entered in an Access database right and that is saved somewhere on the ship right? Is it a server with super tight security? Is the data encrypted? folders locked down? be very careful! Just a warning to benefit yourselves. As far as speed is concerned it depends. for example it depends if one is serving a video streaming site from their server vs how many transactions you are doing on the ships? You should have those numbers from the access database to get a rough number especially if you have auditing columns.
If you do have a good or decent connection then you are opening up for a web solution instead of a client application on multiple ships. the web site would be hosted elsewhere on the cloud for example. The main office will then get fed the data from that.
I would definitely eliminate these client side apps per ship and emailing etc.

Also you do not want to be playing with "free version of SQL" if it is production you are going to have to pay. So in that case sql server might not be your best option. Maybe you could go with some other free stuff or pony up.