With several of the Southern Group islands having had visits recently, both ships will now head north carrying cargo and passengers heading home for the festive period.
“We’ve had some rough weather,” said Taio. “But we are sending both ships up north this week.”
Included in the cargo will be Christmas boxes sent to deserving families. This year around 700 boxes, containing gifts and donations, will be sent to the outer islands with more than 250 heading for the Northern Group.
The Lady Moana will head to Nassau, Pukapuka and Manihiki later this week but before that the Maungaroa II, which usually services the Southern Group, is expected to depart for Rakahanga and Penrhyn.
Meanwhile, the bad weather continues for many islands but, despite rumours of a tropical depression forming in Cook Islands waters over the weekend, a Met Office spokesman said the rain was down to a slow moving trough of low pressure rather than anything more serious.
However, seas remain rough and a strong wind warning has been in place over the southern group.
Earlier this year forecasters predicted a below average number of cyclones in the southwest Pacific this season, with a reduced risk for the Cook Islands.
However, Cook Islands Meteorological Service director Arona Ngari says the country still needs to be on the alert, despite no direct indication of a cyclone being likely to hit the country.
- Jonathan Harwood