Rates announced for Nova Star ferry crossings

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Travellers between Nova Scotia and New England will be able to enjoy their journey aboard the Nova Star at a starting price of $79 USD when Nova Star Cruises launches daily, round-trip cruise ferry service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine in May 2014.


One-way fares for the nine-hour cruise aboard the brand new, 161-metre cruise ferry, Nova Star, will range from $79 to $129 for adults and $39 to $64 for children five to 12 years of age, depending on the date of travel. Children under the age of five will travel free all season long.

Passengers can walk onboard the Nova Star, or bring their own transportation, at rates from $129 to $179 for autos, $49 to $89 for motorcycles, and $16 to $22 for bicycles, depending on the season.


“The lower fares are intended to boost demand at the beginning and end of the sailing season, while the higher fares will be in effect during the peak summer period,” said Owen John, vice president, sales & marketing, Nova Star Cruises.

Fares will change according to the following seasons of travel in 2014. Saver Season, May 1 through May 21 and from October 12 through November 2; Shoulder Season, May 22 through June 11 and from September 9 through October 11; and, Summer Season, June 12 through September 8.


Special combination rates that include round-trip passenger fare, plus a cabin and auto transportation both ways, range from $299 to $449 per person based on double occupancy. More details about passenger fares, including discounts for seniors and military personnel, are available at www.NovaStarCruises.com. The company expects to have its online reservation system up and running and be able to take advanced bookings through its website before the end of January 2014.


“Your vacation begins when you step aboard Nova Star,” said John. “Suddenly, the journey becomes fun.. .  Nova Star will give passengers more options for entertainment and relaxation than you can get on other forms of transportation, and all at an affordable price.”


With a casino, three restaurants – including fine dining and a buffet – a theater and conference center for live entertainment, plus a spa, art gallery, children’s play area and more, Nova Star will provide a wealth of onboard amenities for passengers to enjoy during the voyage.


When it comes time to rest, passengers can relax in the comfort of an assigned recliner seat, from $19 to $39 per chair, or a private cabin that can accommodate up to four travelers, starting at $49 in the saver season and $89 during the summer season between June 12 and Sept. 8.


“Even in the summer season, a couple could travel from Boston to Halifax and back for under $1,000. And that includes $100 in gas for the driving. Taking the ferry compares very favorably with driving, but you’re able to relax and enjoy your journey onboard Nova Star," said John, noting that Nova Star Cruises’ passenger fares are in line with the estimates outlined in the report of the expert panel on a Yarmouth-US ferry, which was prepared for the province of Nova Scotia in August 2012.


Danny Morton, director of cruise marketing & business development, Nova Star Cruises, encourages tourism operators interested in tourism partnership opportunities and group rates to sign up for information at www.NovaStarCruises.com.


“We are in the process of partnering with tourism operators to provide the information they need to develop marketing and pricing plans for their upcoming season, and development of the Nova Star Discovery program, which will provide turnkey vacation experiences that bundle passage on the Nova Star with select tourism offerings throughout Nova Scotia, is well underway,” said Morton.


“The launch of Nova Star Cruises creates a direct route between Nova Scotia and New England, and an important economic and tourism link,” said Nancy Petrie, tour and travel sales manager, Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island. “Pairing all that is to be discovered in Nova Scotia with Nova Star’s onboard amenities and attractive pricing should make our province an appealing vacation destination for New Englanders.”


“Nova Star Cruises will be an important part of the Maine tourism experience,” said Vaughn Stinson, CTC, chief executive officer of the Maine Tourism Association. “We look forward to having more Atlantic Canadians and Nova Scotians explore and discover what the ‘Maine Thing’ is all about.”


Nova Star will leave Portland each evening at 8 p.m. EST and arrive in Yarmouth at 7 a.m. AST the next morning. The ship will depart two hours later and arrive back in Portland at 5 p.m. local time. Nova Star Cruises will provide the cruise ferry service from May 1 to November 2. The company estimates that more than 100,000 passengers will step aboard the Nova Star in the first year of operation.



Organizations: Star Cruises, Maine Tourism Association

Geographic location: Nova Star, Nova Scotia, New England Yarmouth Portland, Maine Boston Halifax Portland Nova Scotians

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Recent comments

  • Richard E. Cahoon
    May 01, 2015 - 17:53

    I would like to know the cost of the rooms from portland to yarmouth on the 22nd of june, 2015? No room for the return trip.

  • Tom & Dottie Trask
    February 09, 2015 - 22:00

    My wife and I are planning on going to Nova Scotia this year, depending on the cost.

  • Cherryl worthington
    May 15, 2014 - 09:43

    Do you need a passport to travel from Portland Maine to Nova scotia?

    • John Sollows
      May 15, 2014 - 19:13

      Passports are normally needed for travel between Canada and the U.S.

  • Marsudi Yuswoto
    April 29, 2014 - 22:20

    Please inform us,we have candidates how we can joining with your compamy.and more candidates fresh graduated hospitality course in jakarta

  • Harold Lawton
    April 25, 2014 - 11:09

    Will there be any special rates for the overnight round trip?

  • peg
    April 22, 2014 - 16:16

    would like to visit nova scotia in aug...would like land tour and accomodation info... pricing for 5,6,or7 night. including ferry!

  • Deborah C Loomis
    March 08, 2014 - 20:28

    Travelling to Nova Scotia in July. Totally psyched about the ferry, thank you!! I was wondering if I could have a ferry schedule and costs, as soon as available. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! Debbie Loomis 83 Bird Pond Road North Creek, NY 12853 518-796-0674

  • trgo
    March 04, 2014 - 09:08

    For my Suburban, with trailer, the CAT round trip (RT) cost was almost $1200. Using Nova Star published prices (Dec. 2013) my same vehicle/trailer combination will now cost, over $1800 round trip (RT). Using the St. John/Digby ferry, and allowing for lots of extra gas (RT)+tolls (RT)+ $130 (x2 RT) St. John hotel room, my total round trip (RT) cost there is $1200. Sure, I would love to use the new Nova Star ferry, and it would be much more convenient, but for $600+ extra? I DON'T THINK SO! Cancellation fees are a MAJOR factor also! Cancel within 2 weeks = 50% penalty = $450 EACH WAY! Cancel within 2 days = 100% penalty = $900, EACH WAY! WOW!!!

  • Susan Steffey
    February 16, 2014 - 22:59

    I need to know if the ferry will run from Yarmoth to Portland on Sunday, October 19, 2014 & how I would make a reservation?

  • Pat Keagle
    February 07, 2014 - 12:59

    My husband and I travel to NS about 5 times a year from upstate N Y.We like that we can travel from NS to home in one relaxing day.Not sure we will spend the money for a cabin on trip to Yarmouth.We use the ferry from NBC to Digby.They have a frequent sailing program.After 5 trips the next one is free.That would be enticing for people like us.Good that trucks can go.It will help Yarmouth and Portland's tourist trade.Not much to do in Yarmouth . But Portland is a great city to put on the agenda for vacation with the opportunity go on a cruise also.

  • Pat McPherson
    February 05, 2014 - 12:16

    When will you start selling tickets?

  • lianMorgan
    January 31, 2014 - 15:13

    How do you transport dogs?

  • Kathy Hanson
    January 22, 2014 - 14:13

    It has been a long wait for the ferry service to return. I live north of Boston and have half my family in Nova Scotia. Although I am glad that this has finally happened, I am discouraged that the fares are so high. My husband and I and my extended families are struggling like everyone else in this economy and find this almost as unreachable as the very long and tiring drive either to St John or driving all the way around. Taking children is out of the question on a long trip like that and now too expensive to take a family of four on this new ferry. Just for my husband and I it would cost $600 to cross; add children to that cost and you have an unaffordable trip for the average family. Sorry, but stating that this is not so much about the fares as the cruise experience, that really is not comparable. I sailed for years across the Bay of Fundy on every ship there was to Yarmouth and I daresay that it only slightly resembles that having been on a large cruise vessel. These ferries rock and roll so much that there are any number of people seasick even when it's calm (which isn't very often). Maybe if you offered specials; ie, half price during the middle of the week , or a 2 for 1 day with a meal included or something during the peak season it may help entice more people to travel on the ferry. Thank you for listening and I hope at least that the ferry service's return helps the Yarmouth economy and the people of Nova Scotia. I like to call Nova Scotia my second home not only because it is my heritage, but because of it's beauty and lifestyle.

  • R. Jamison
    January 18, 2014 - 13:58

    Wow! Steep prices. Looks as though the 9 hour drive to Digby will be a lot cheaper even with a overnight in a hotel. Was looking forward to this, but looks like it is not going to be beneficial. Maybe a less extravagant ship would have been ore cost effective.

  • Ed Brown
    January 16, 2014 - 12:26

    Ehhh...I don't know. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I'm not hopeful. I foresee two or three years operating in the red, then hitting up NoSco for more subsidies. Bay Ferries redeux. I go from the US to NoSco several times a year, about 10 years now. Still cheaper for me to stay overnight in a hotel and/or cross at St John. BTW, nothing about Nov 2 - May 1?

  • Jackie King
    January 14, 2014 - 13:54

    As a family we have used the previous Scotia Prince several times and enjoyed it emensely, I find the fees for this new ferry much higher and I understand the reason why, however, I do not think the ridership will be there at those costs, it would not cost me $1000 return to drive to Portland Maine including hotels. There used to be a deal in May for residents of NS to travel across return for 199. per person incl the car. this was an excellent deal and you could stay in Maine for a few days. Travel was Monday/Tuesday returning by Thursday to avoid the weekends. Hopefully something will be in place again so we can take advantage of the opportunity. Thank you

    January 13, 2014 - 16:50

    Questions: will the Nova Star tour Boston for an on board walk through - similar to the one that the CAT did prior to going into service will there be discounts for individuals that do multiple trips during the course of 1 year could someone elaborate a little on the room rate / double occupancy vs the room rate for 4 people this has me a bit confused looking for to your remarks thank you

  • Rose Dona
    January 10, 2014 - 01:30

    So happy can't wait to go on the ferry.It is only a 10hr drive for me to go to Portland Maine from Woodstock Ont. My husband and I have driven to N.S. many times. So now we can take the trip to get on the ferry .It was usually a day and half for us to drive home to N.S. with stop over night .will pay the price to go on the ferry .will get me with in.45 min. drive to my family.I am so happy that the ferry is running again. Congrats.

  • Chip Gasch
    December 30, 2013 - 14:11

    What is your policy on dogs?

  • Dorothy D'Allesandro
    December 29, 2013 - 17:14

    This is the best news I have heard in a looooong time. Now I might be able to travel to Nova Scotia more than once a year!! I was born/raised in Nova Scotia and still have friends and family there. I now live in Maryland USA and have not been able to afford to see my family as much as I would like to. Thank you sooooo much for the opportunity.

  • veronique
    December 29, 2013 - 17:03

    dec/29th/13 what a lovely boat I be on it that's for sure my sister from Con well be there too to come to visit ns tks love it great work took long enough

  • Will Lucey
    December 13, 2013 - 14:12

    Doomed to fail at these prices. When the Cat was costing us $750 a round trip , we found it cost prohibitive to use our summer place in Nova Scotia, plus guests could not justify the price, eventually leading us to sell the home. Now it is a thousand dollars for two people and a car to cross. A steep tab that will drive most people to alternate plans. The Cat, which was definitly the "wrong boat" according to everybody was a bargain compared to the current rates.

  • Michele Hakenson
    December 13, 2013 - 09:29

    After driving all day from Virginia to visit family in Nova Scotia, it is very much a pleasure to be able to take a ferry in Maine to Nova Scotia that offers cabins as well. So glad this kind of ferry is back, and I can't stress that feeling enough!!! I'm so happy and very excited to take our first trip on the Nova Star Ferry! The pictures of the Ferry look very nice, please post pictures of the cabins as well. Thank you so much! One HAPPY traveler! :D

  • Al Nickerson
    December 13, 2013 - 09:00

    If it can accommodate trucks and R.Vs as well, then that's a plus. It will be good for the people in Yarmouth as well as Portland. The prices seem reasonable.

  • Gayle Mahoney
    December 12, 2013 - 10:11

    I am so happy to see the return of a ferry. I plan on visiting Yarmouth in August. I will be travelling from Massachusetts and think that the ferry is a better option than the long drive around. I think the prices are reasonable too. Can't wait to come home!!

  • Kay McNealy
    December 12, 2013 - 08:25

    Thank you, thank you , thank you! I'll be seeing you in May!

    December 12, 2013 - 07:42

    does this ferry accomadate tractor trailers ie. commercial vehicles ?

    • Yarmouth Vanguard
      December 12, 2013 - 13:18

      Regarding the question about accommodating commercial vehicles? Yes, it can accommodate commercial vehicles -- trucks, RVs etc.

  • Julie Thomas
    December 12, 2013 - 05:18

    Sounds great, the price is not bad either for a nine hour trip.Comparing other options of getting to Portland, it's very reasonable.

  • Ronald Clinedinst
    December 11, 2013 - 21:20

    When will you post job opportunity ?

  • Sandra
    December 11, 2013 - 19:00

    A lot of money!

    • Fractionist
      December 12, 2013 - 10:39

      Actually, in comparison to other fares for relatively comparable forms of travel, the cost of fuel and time... this is actually quite cheap and very reasonable for passage. Actually, I'm inclined to believe the prices are lower than what they should actually be. You get what you pay for and this is a cruise ferry. Enjoy it! It is going to be an amazing experience!

    • Fractionist
      December 12, 2013 - 10:39

      Actually, in comparison to other fares for relatively comparable forms of travel, the cost of fuel and time... this is actually quite cheap and very reasonable for passage. Actually, I'm inclined to believe the prices are lower than what they should actually be. You get what you pay for and this is a cruise ferry. Enjoy it! It is going to be an amazing experience!

  • Mack
    December 11, 2013 - 18:21

    Why must I, a Canadian travelling from NS to Maine, pay in U.S. dollars?

    • Sean Lewis
      December 12, 2013 - 10:25

      Thanks for your question. The prices are currently posted in USD because 70% of our market is US passengers that will be travelling to Nova Scotia. We are planning to add a currency converter to the website early in the new year, which will identify the fares in Canadian funds. Nova Star Sean Lewis NATIONAL Public Relations T: 902.332-8025 E: slewis@national.ca

    • R. LOWE
      December 12, 2013 - 11:02

      Because those are the rules, it is run by a properly administered UNITED STATES, company in Maine, as opposed to the nonsense the Canadians call business.In There skewed thinking the Nova Scotia government lost 70% of the tourism and destroyed the real estate market for $3,000,000.00 in subsidies, FOR EIGHT YEARS !!! They then spent $20,000,000.00 trying to figure out we needed a ferry from the U.S. to Canada.......duuuhhh!

  • Louise Gilson
    December 11, 2013 - 17:20

    will you have a program for frequent users?

  • Evelyn and Bob LeBlanc
    December 11, 2013 - 16:43

    We are so happy about this as we so enjoyed the Bluenose Ferry to get to see our family in Church Point.