'Costa Concordia's' Israel connections

Costa Cruises, is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, whose CEO and chairman is the Israeli-born businessman.

January 15, 2012 21:23
1 minute read.
The Costa Concordia cruise ship

The Costa Concordia cruise ship 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/ Max Rossi)

The Italian cruise ship that ran aground Friday night has an Israeli connection – its operator, Costa Cruises, is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, whose CEO and chairman is Micky Arison.

“Tonight our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and crew of the Costa Concordia,” Arison tweeted shortly after the accident.

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Carnival Corporation also offered its sympathies and heartfelt condolences for the terrible tragedy, and said it was committing its full resources to ensure all guests and crew were looked after.

Seven Israelis, including three couples and one young girl, who were aboard the ship, were not injured, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Tel Aviv-born Arison, 62, is the son of late Carnival Corporation founder Ted Arison and older brother of Bank Hapoalim owner and Israel’s richest woman Shari Arison.

He became CEO of Carnival Corporation in 1979, and chairman of its board of directors in 1990.

Carnival went public in 1987, raising $400 million for expansion, which led to key acquisitions including the historic Holland America Line. In 2003, Arison led the transaction that combined Carnival’s six cruise operators with P&O Princess Cruises to create the world’s largest cruise ship operator.

Arison lives in Miami, where Carnival Corporation is listed, and appears at number 169 on Forbes list of the world’s richest people, with an estimate wealth of $5.9 billion. In addition to his shipping activities, Arison also owns the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat.

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