Top 8 Richest People in the Cruise Industry 2018

Mar 15, 2018

There's rich. And then there's world's richest people rich. Using the data from the Forbes Billionaires chart 2018, we put together a list of the 8 richest people in the cruise industry. Forbes updates its data regularly, and our list is based on the latest data available for March 15, 2018.

As you can see from the chart three families rule the global cruise ship market. Gianluigi Aponte and his wife Rafaela established MSC shipping company in 1970 which operates today around 500 vessels. Sammy Ofer, the founder of Royal Caribbean split his wealth among his two sons, Eyal and Idan. Ted Arison, the founder of Carnival Corporation transferred his wealth to his son Micky Arison and his daughter Shari Arison. The Global Cruise Market Outlook reveals that the cruise travel is continuing to grow at a steady pace and the fortune of all people on this list has increased significantly.

  • Alexey Mordashov – TUI Group
  • NET WORTH IN 2018 $18.7 Billion

With 23% of share capital, Alexey Mordashov is the single biggest shareholder of the largest leisure, travel, and tourism company in the world, TUI Group. This multinational travel and tourism company operates four cruise lines including TUI Cruises, Marella Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, and International Expeditions. The company also owns travel agencies, hotels, six European airlines, nine tour operators, and stores. According to Forbes, Alexey Mordashov is the second richest man in Russia who has a majority share in one of the biggest steel companies in the world “Severstal.” His wealth increased to $18.7 billion from $17.5 billion last year, making him the biggest dollar gainer on the list. In 2011, he was the only Russian participant in a meeting of secretive Bilderberg Club at St Moritz, Switzerland.

  • Eyal Ofer - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd
  • NET WORTH IN 2018 $9.7 Billion

Eyal Ofer inherited part of his late father's shipping empire in 2011 and has expanded the business significantly. His feather Sammy Ofer was once Israel's richest man. Today that title belongs to Eyal Ofer. He is also the owner of Global Holdings, an international real estate firm, and the Zodiac Group, a shipping company. In addition to the 150 vessels he owns under Zodiac, Ofer also own a 5% stake in Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

  • Micky Arison - Carnival Corporation & plc
  • NET WORTH IN 2018 $9.7 Billion

Micky Arison is chairman of the world's largest cruise ship operator, Carnival Corporation & plc which operates more than 100 cruise ships under the Carnival, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Costa, AIDA, P&O Cruises, and Cunard brand names. He spent 34 years as CEO of Carnival, helping grow its fleet from two ships to more than 100, before stepping down in June 2013. 

When Carnival was founded, Arison dropped out of the University of Miami to join the family company, and inherited part of his late father’s cruise empire. Today his net worth is estimated at $9.7 billion, a $300 million increase from the last year. In 1995 he took control of the Miami Heat, the NBA franchise his father helped bring to Florida.

  • Gianluigi & Rafaela Aponte - MSC
  • NET WORTH IN 2018 $9.3 Billion

With Net Worth of $9.3 Billion the owners of the shipping and cruise company MSC. Gianluigi Aponte and his wife Rafaela hold the 164 place on Forbes richest people in the world. MSC is the world's second-largest container shipping company and fourth largest cruise company by employing some 16,300 people worldwide. The company is privately-owned by Aponte family. Gianluigi also runs MSC Cruises, while Rafaela is in charge of designing the ships' interiors. Their children are also involved in the company.

  • Lim Kok Thay - Genting Group
  • NET WORTH IN 2018 $5.9 Billion

Genting Group chairman, Lim Kok Thay has fast expanded the group's global footprints in the cruise and gaming sector. The company’s rapid growth in the Asian cruise marked has included several cruise brands such as Genting Cruise Lines, Star Cruises, Dream Cruises - Asia’s Luxury Cruise Line”, and Crystal Cruises. This year Genting Hong Kong marked the official start of production of new Global-class cruise ship by Dream Cruises which is under construction in Wismar and Rostock, Germany. With 5,000-guest, capacity and 204,000 GT the ship will join the Dream Cruises fleet in 2020 and will rival the world’s biggest cruise ships. Lim Kok Thay wealth increase in 2018 to $5.9 billion making him the sixth richest man In Malaysia.

  • Shari Arison - Carnival Corporation & plc
  • NET WORTH IN 2018 $5.5 Billion 

Shari Arison is an American-Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist. She is one of the Most Powerful Women in Israel and listed as third richest in Israel. Shari has a beneficial interest in Carnival Corporation inheriting a fortune from her late father Ted Arison, the founder of Carnival Cruise Line. She leads the Arison Group, a global business and philanthropic group. The group’s business arm, Arison Investments, is made up of the pillars of the Israeli economy, including Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, Shikun & Binui, a global real estate and infrastructure company, and Salt of the Earth, the leading salt manufacturer in Israel. Her wealth increase to $5.5 billion from $4.9 billion last year.

  • Arne Wilhelmsen & family - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd
  • NET WORTH IN 2018 $3.6 Billion

The Norwegian billionaire businessman and Co-founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Arne Wilhelmsen is the largest single shareholder of the world's second-largest cruise operator. The family company “A. WILHELMSEN A.S.” holds a 15% stake in Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL). The 87-year-old Wilhelmsen retired more than 15 years ago, although his son Alex replaced him on the board of directors in 2003. With his family share in RCCL, the billionaire biggest gain was in March 2016, when he made roughly $150 million in one week. His wealth increased to $3.6 billion from $2.8 billion last year, making him the fourth richest man In Norway in 2018

  • Torstein Hagen – Viking Cruises
  • NET WORTH IN 2018 $2.2 Billion

Torstein Hagen CEO of Viking Cruises started the company in 1997 with four Russian made ships. Through rapid expansion, Viking Cruises has grown to be The World’s Leading River Cruise Line with more than 60 vessels. The company entered the luxury ocean cruise market in 2015 with the start of Viking Ocean Cruises, becoming a leading force in small ship ocean cruising. Torstein Hagen experience as a CEO of the now-defunct Royal Viking Line and a former Holland America Line board member has played a major role in the Viking Cruises rapid growth. His wealth increased to $2.2 billion from $1 billion last year, making him the eight richest man In Norway in 2018.