AP Moller-Maersk and other shipowners are paying for a small cruiseship to help take a group of stranded Kiribati seafarers home, TradeWinds has learned.

But the shipowners have been refused permission to take the crew members back to Kiribati directly due to Covid-19 restrictions, and can get them only as far as Fiji initially.

Ross Nicholls, of the Mission to Seafarers charity in Brisbane, Australia, revealed that the 150-berth Reef Endeavour (built 1996) has been booked for a subsequent trip from Fiji to Kiribati.