RV Tala Moana Available for Charter in Tuvalu


The RV Tala Moana was purchased on behalf of the Government of Tuvalu in January 2016 by the United Nations Development Programme, in order to support UNDP and other projects in Tuvalu’s outer islands.

Tala Moana is operated and managed by the Fisheries Department of the Tuvalu Ministry of Natural Resources. The vessel is used to carry people and materials to Tuvalu’s outer islands for fishery resource assessment and management work, disaster risk management, governance and other development tasks. Tala Moana is a live-aboard expedition vessel with galley, workspaces and power supply that allows teams of people to live and work effectively onboard. Specifications of the vessel are as follows:

Steel hull, 34m length overall: beam 9m, draft 3m Twin Yanmar 6N 165-EN (788 HP) diesel engines
Twin GM power generators Fully air-conditioned, multiple electrical power outlets
VHF/ HF radio, radar, GPS, echo-sounder 7,500+ mile operating range: 120t fuel, 42t water
Fully crewed and manned (8 officers and crew, including full-time cook) Two life-rafts each with 25-person capacity: 100 life jackets
Bunks for 23 persons (8 crew and 15 passengers) in cabins of two or four Crew galley and large passenger saloon for meals, meetings, computer workspace
7 toilets, 6 hot water showers, sewage treatment Spacious after deck for wet work or cargo
Outboard-powered dinghies and lifting crane Transom rail for easy access to tenders and diving

Tala Moana operates exclusively on a charter basis. When in use by the Tuvalu Fisheries Department (TFD), the Department is responsible for paying all charter costs. In between TFD missions, Tala Moana is available for charter by other Tuvalu Government departments, development projects, donor agencies and private groups.

All charters begin and end in Funafuti. Charter costs are made up of two parts:

  • A flat daily charter fee which covers the costs of crew, ships power, rations and vessel maintenance;
  • An hourly transit fee for each hour spent steaming between islands, to cover the cost of additional fuel use while travelling.

Any itinerary within Tuvalu can be accommodated, making it possible to visit one or several islands, for shorter or longer periods, without the difficulties caused by irregular or unreliable merchant ships.

If space is available it may be possible to accommodate extra passengers on existing charters, provided that no diversions from the route are involved, and subject to the charterers agreement. Additional passengers must pay a passenger fee which will then lead to a reduction in the charterers cost.

For more information on charter costs and vessel availability please send an e-mail to

Request a booking online now or see for current bookings.

2020 Charter Rates and Rules

The RV Tala Moana is available for charter on a first-come-first-served basis for inter-island travel and accommodation within Tuvalu. The vessel has sleeping accommodation for up to 15 passengers.

Charter and Transit Fees

Charter costs for the RV Tala Moana are calculated as follows:

  • A daily charter fee of A$3,500 for every day or part-day of the voyage. Charter fees cover crew costs, fuel consumed for ships power, rations for all crew and passengers, and a contribution to annual maintenance costs. Charter fees are payable from when the vessel leaves Funafuti port to when it returns.
  • An hourly transit fee of A$350 for every hour or part-hour of inter-island steaming undertaken during the voyage. This fee covers the cost of additional fuel consumption by the Tala Moana while in transit.

Transit fees island pairs are shown in the table below, based on estimated steaming times between islands at an average speed of 10 knots.

Please note the increased charges which are effective from 1st October 2020.

Based on the above, the estimated cost of a 3-day round trip from Funafuti to Vaitupu would be:

  • Charter fee – $3,500 x 3 days:   $10,500
  •  Transit fee – $2,542 x 2:             $5,084
  •  Total cost:                                 $15,584

The table can be used to estimate the cost of round-trip or multi-island voyages. However, the final charges will be determined by the Tuvalu Fisheries Department based on the particulars of the voyage in question.

Additional passengers

When a charter involves fewer than fifteen people, the charterer may authorise the Tuvalu Fisheries Department to offer those places to other passengers. In such a case, the TFD will discount the charter fee by $200/ day for each additional passenger. No changes to the voyage schedule will be made on behalf of additional passengers.

Funafuti down-time

In some cases, charterers may wish to return to Funafuti for a few days in between trips to the northern and southern island groups, for example. In such cases, the charter fee for each full day spent in Funafuti in mid-charter will be discounted by 50%. Charterers may continue to use the Tala Moana for accommodation, meals and working space during these times.

For information on vessel availability or a firm quotation, please e-mail

Request a booking online now