Cruise lines believe they can start turning a profit next year, clawing their way out of a fiscal abyss from which some thought they might never return.

The Big Three that hold 80% of the market, Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, posted a total of $28.68bn in losses over the past six quarters as the pandemic halted operations.

But analysts and owners expect pent-up demand for cruising to reverse that misfortune, even though the industry remains afloat only because of oceans of debt taken out since coronavirus forced it to shut down in March 2020.