(Corrects name to Cruise Lines International Association, not Cruise Line Industry Association, in paragraph 6)

(Reuters) -Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings on Monday raised its full-year profit forecast for a second time in less than three weeks, betting on record demand for cruise vacations and higher ticket prices, sending its shares up as much as 7.7%.

More travelers are choosing sea-based vacations that offer a range of fun activities under one roof, compared to expensive land-based holidays, benefiting cruise operators and giving them room to raise prices.

Expectations have also been high for the Miami-based Norwegian after strong booking trends drove up results and shares last year, and rival Royal Caribbean Group raised its profit target for a second time last month.

"There's a strong intent to return (to cruises) across every single demographic, including Millennial and Generation Z," CEO Harry Sommer said at the company's investor day on Monday.

The cruise operator now expects an adjusted profit of $1.42 per share, compared to its previous forecast of $1.32.

Approximately 34.7 million passengers are expected to take cruise vacations this year - around 17% more than the 29.7 million passengers that sailed in 2019, according to a report from the Cruise Lines International Association.

Last month, Norwegian ordered eight new ships across its three brands to cater to the rising demand.

"They kept some EPS upside in their back pocket so as to have a raise at today's investor day," said Truist Securities' Patrick Scholes, adding the raise was encouraging. The company expects to earn an adjusted profit of $2.45 per share, representing a two year compound-annual-growth-rate (CAGR) from 2024 to 2026 of over 30%.

It also expects to generate total revenue of about $9 billion this year, up from about $8.55 billion in 2023. Earlier in May, Norwegian's shares had dropped as much as 15% after it missed its first-quarter revenue estimates despite raising its full-year profit target.

(Reporting by Granth Vanaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Tasim Zahid)

By Granth Vanaik