THE MS Insignia, which docked at Haifa Port last week..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Only three to four years ago, cruise giant Norwegian Cruise Lines counted just a few hundred Israeli guests among its customers. Today, Israel represents the American company’s seventh largest market, and it has ambitious plans to attract many more guests.
“Our regional vice president, Nick Wilkinson, identified Israel as a deep potential market, we started putting a little resources in, and we really found that our Norwegian Cruise Lines products resonated with the Israeli consumer,” President International for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Harry Sommer told The Jerusalem Post.
“For a country the size of Israel to be our seventh largest market is nothing short of amazing, and we’re not done. One of the reasons I come here so often is because we see huge future potential too. We think we can double this market in the next two to three years.”
Last week, MS Insignia, the Regatta-class cruise ship of Norwegian Cruise Line brand Oceania, arrived at Haifa Port for the first time since its $180 million renovation and upgrade as part of the company’s OceaniaNEXT program.
The ship, a premium-class liner, has a capacity of 854 guests and 400 staff members, four restaurants not requiring reservation, lounges, casinos, bars, spa and international-standard fitness center.
“We’re really looking for Israel to take a disproportionate amount of our company’s current growth, and the Insignia looks better today than the day she was launched,” said Sommer.
“As people become more experienced cruisers, such as our Israeli customers, they start looking for higher-end products. We set out to make our Oceania ships better than new.”
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