Carnival Corp.'s vice chairman, Howard Frank, said the company expects Costa Cruises "will swing back to profitability in 2013."

This year's occupancy rate has caught up with last year's, but Costa fares remain lower than they were, Frank said. 

Carnival Corp. reiterated projections that Costa Cruises would lose $100 million this year in the wake of the Concordia disaster.

Micky Arison, CEOThat's a $500 million swing from what Carnival had been projecting before the accident in January.

"To climb back to where things were before will take a couple of years beyond 2013," Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison said during the company's third-quarter conference call.

In addition to the berths lost from Concordia, two other smaller ships have exited Costa's fleet. Frank did not dispute an analyst who asked if $300 million would be a normal profit level for Costa with its current fleet.

Carnival Corp.'s uninsured exposure from the Costa accident through the first nine months of the year is about $30 million.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly. 

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