Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is betting on pent-up demand as its ticket out of quarterly losses that have crushed the entire industry since the pandemic took hold in March 2020.

The Frank Del Rio-led owner of 28 passengerships on Friday posted a $718bn loss for the second quarter, up from $715bn in red ink a year earlier. The result marks the cruiseship company's sixth consecutive quarter in the hole.

The continued loss is a result of a dearth of revenue that came in at $4.37m, down $7.47m for the same three months in 2020 thanks to a virus that has all but shut down cruising.

But chief executive Del Rio refused to give up hope as he views customers' hunger to travel as his company's — and the industry's — saving grace.

"Our team is working tirelessly to execute on our plan to return our full fleet to operation by April 2022 to capitalise on this unparalleled pent-up demand," he said in a statement.

'Ready and eager'

Del Rio led off the earnings report by heralding New York-listed Norwegian's return to revenue sailing with the previously announced relaunches of the 3,590-berth Norwegian Jade (built 2006) in Greece and the 3,998-berth Norwegian Encore (built 2019) for trips from Seattle to Alaska.

"We are ready and eager to welcome guests back on board and continue to see incredible strength in our booking trends for future cruises," he said.

He reiterated the Miami-based cruise major's strict vaccination requirement for passengers and crew.

The monthly average cash burn for the quarter was $200m, above prior guidance of $190m. Norwegian expects third-quarter monthly burn to reach $285m amid its return to service.

But the company continues to withhold any outlook as it makes its way through the pandemic.

"While the company cannot estimate the impact on its business, financial condition or near- or longer-term financial or operational results with certainty, it will report a net loss for the third quarter ... and expects to report a net loss until the company is able to resume regular voyages," the company said.