Trade unions representing seafarers have claimed that hundreds of thousands are still banned from traveling home due to COVID-19 restrictions and border closures.
Some sailors stranded in northern Germany have not been able to see their families on the other side of the world for nearly two years.
One hundred thirty men from Kiribati in the Pacific who live in a youth hostel say they are now desperate to return.
Their government closed the borders at the start of the epidemic to prevent the virus from reaching the island, which has so far not recorded any positive cases.
The authorities there told them that they were doing everything they could to bring them home.
Producer: Serra Terig
Camera: Martin Williams
Reporter: Nick Beck