85,000 Israelis, 1% of the population, went on a cruise in 2017. Nick Wilkinson, Vice President & Managing Director UK&I MEA and Israel of NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) predicts that the number will grow by 20% in 2018. The growth reflects general growth in the cruise sector in the number of travellers (led by Germany, China and the US).
This year 25.8 million people have gone on cruises worldwide, and the number is projected to grow to around 30 million by 2022. Among other reasons, Chinese passengers are responsible for the increase, and are changing the aspects of aviation and global tourism map.
According to Wilkinson, Israel is in 6th place in the world in the number of per capita cruisers. The company of NCL has also opened a local office in Israel.
Barcelona and Rome are the most popular destinations for Israeli passengers. Other destinations include the United States, with the introduction of direct flights to Miami by El Al Israel Airlines. Wilkinson notes that cooperation with airlines will be expanded.
The company, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, has an annual turnover of $4.9 billion (12.2% growth), with $776 million in net revenue.