The King Tamatoa fast ferry has left French Polynesia in a surprise overnight move as its operators were being pursued in court for debts incurred this year.
The ship left Papeete without making any announcements after it had stopped running its service to the Society Islands.
It is believed the ship is bound for New Caledonia or Fiji.
The transport minister, Louis Frebault, has told Tahitipresse that the ship has been a means to blackmail as its operators sought tax write-offs and fuel subsidies.
Last month, they threatened to pull out of Tahiti, if they failed to get the concessions they wanted.
The government said no and the ferry stopped running, leaving many people stranded.