MORE than 30 passengers aboard the MV Lau Trader have had to fend for their own for the past week after the ship visited islands that diverted from its normal route, delaying their journey to Suva.
"We have been on this ship since Easter Friday and have now spent the last of our money on food since we were supposed to be in Suva on Tuesday," passenger Noa Sukanasau said over telephone from Kabara last Friday (April 6).
Mr Sukanasau said the boat was a franchise and serviced Ono, Vatoa, Ogea on its way to Kabara before sailing to Suva.
"We have no choice but to get on this boat as there is no other boat servicing our route," he said.
The passenger also complained that food transported for relatives in Suva have started to rot.
"Today (Friday), we have spent a week on the boat and from what we hear, we still have two more islands to visit, Moce and Vanuavatu, who knows when we'll reach Suva," he said.
Mr Sukanasau said the ship was transporting representatives from government departments that were on a road show through the islands in the Lau group.
MV Lau Trader interim operations manager Tomi Finau apologised for the inconvenience caused and acknowledged receiving the complaints from the passengers.
"I apologise to the passengers especially to those from Ono and Vatoa, the trip was only a one-off to cover 10 islands," Mr Finau said.
The schedule however, was advertised before the ship departed from the islands.
The MV Lau Trader berthed at the Suva wharf on Saturday, April 14.