Reports from Wallis and Futuna say plans are advancing to set up an inter-island ferry.
France is considering the request made by Wallis and Futuna representatives last month which seeks to have a ferry make three to four weekly crossings between the two islands now linked by a small plane only.
Local television says a suitable second-hand vessel has already been identified.
Wallis and Futuna's representative in the French National Assembly, Albert Likuvalu, says further information from France may be available in the next few weeks.
The reports say the ferry could also offer a link to Fiji.