Nova Star cancelling 4 ferry crossings to perform maintenance

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The Nova Star unloading vehicles and passengers at the Yarmouth ferry terminal. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Marine Evacuation System to be replaced

By Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

www.thevanguard.ca

 

Four Nova Star ferry crossings are being cancelled next week to allow for the reinstallation of the ship’s permanent Marine Evacuation System (MES).

The system includes an inflatable chute and four life rafts that are deployed during an emergency.

Nova Star Cruises company spokesperson Sean Lewis says during an April inspection by the US Coast Guard, Nova Star was required to deploy its MES.

“It’s quite a big piece of equipment. (Once deployed) it takes time to get it repackaged. It has to go back to the manufacturer to be repacked and reconfigured,” he says.

This couldn’t occur in time with the manufacturer to reinstall Nova Star's MES prior to the ferry’s May 15 maiden voyage, so instead a fully-functioning loaner MES has been onboard the boat.

“It’s the exact same system, it just wasn’t the permanent system for the boat,” says Lewis. “The original system is now ready to be put back on the boat, it just takes time to do it.

“There’s no issues that are causing this to be happening,” he stresses, saying it’s just a matter of switching the loaner with the original system.

Lewis says the life rafts that are part of the MES are not the only life rafts on Nova Star.

As a result of the required maintenance, the following crossings are being cancelled:

• Tuesday, May 27: Portland departure

• Wednesday, May 28: Yarmouth and Portland departures

• Thursday, May 29: Yarmouth departure

Nova Staris scheduled to resume its regular service on Thursday, May 29, departing Portland at 9 p.m. EST and arriving in Yarmouth the next morning at 8 a.m. AST.

Passengers that are booked on any of the cancelled crossings will be refunded and given the opportunity to rebook passage on future crossings.

Meanwhile, since launching the ferry service Nova Star Cruises has made an adjustment in Portland and in Yarmouth to how the ferry docks to facilitate the loading and unloading of vehicles.

In Portland the ferry now sees vehicles loaded and unloaded through the stern of the vessel, as opposed to the bow, which is how things were initially being done in the beginning. This means in Yarmouth the vehicles are brought on and off the boat through the bow.

Steve Durrell, the company’s chief operating officer, says the docking change was necessitated by ramping issues at the Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland.

“We discovered it is easier to load unload from the stern in Portland,” Durrell says. He says the change doesn’t really have an impact in Yarmouth as far as the loading and unloading of vehicles goes.

He does say, however, the company will be making a modification to the door on Nova Star’s port side so that they can use the foot passenger pedway that links the vessel with the terminal building. Without doing this foot passengers are having to walk on and off of the ferry in Yarmouth via the vehicle ramp at the bow.

 

 

 

 

Organizations: Marine Evacuation System, Nova Star Cruises, US Coast Guard

Geographic location: Portland

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Recent comments

  • John Townsend
    May 25, 2014 - 19:03

    Greeting: So glad to read the majority of the comments with respect to the M.V. Nova Star are favorable...as they should be. With anything new there is bound to be the odd clitch, and that is to be expected. I feel things have gone quite well. Mr.Frigault does it really matter if you class this vessel as ferry or as cruise ship, how did you classify the M.V. Prince of Fundy ? We have a ferry service that is what counts, It has come to my attention that the Seascape in Port Mouton had 10 visitors the first day the ferry arrived in Yarmouth, and 14 the second day.. Not huge I agree, but for the 15-16 May, when students are still in school. I wish her well, and all that travel aboard her. I will close by stating we as Nova Scotians will never know for sure how much damage was caused by the loss of the Cat ( I will be the first to agree she was not the vessel needed for this run), loss of jobs, closing of business, loss of homes, and the list simply goes on and on...how do we put a price tag...Philippe Frigault is quick to bring up the 21 million over 7 years , or 3 mllion a year...I would ask him what substidies are paid to ferry service in general, and in what amounts. I reside in Brooklyn Queens County, and really have heard little from the region etc. with respect to the ferry, and possibly providing that extra push to have passengers visit the South Shore first,after disembarking the vessel, and in particular the R.O.Q' s Municipality, many times I have heard what we have to offer, and we surely do, for the most part what I have heard pertains to Yarmouth and Acadia shores, and the Annapolis Valley, why ? , the Yarmouth Mayor visited Boston and beyond with reps. of the Acadian shore to promote that area while the tourist are fresh, and no expended their tourist dollar..good move Yarmouth and Acadian shores...We on the South Shore should have been competing for this important dollar..and from where I set...we didn't...or it was minimal at best...this is just too important to just hope they come.. Enjoyed reading the positive comments.

    • Philippe Frigault
      May 26, 2014 - 13:36

      Mr. Townsend, If you read my comments carefully, you will find out that I call the ship A CRUISE SHIP, just like the Mayor in Yarmouth Mrs. Pam Mood, called it and many thousands of people do the same thing, they call it A CRUISE SHIP. Regarding Port Mouton, I'm happy for them and I hope they have more visitors, but to this point as we speak, I don't see nothing to jump in the water for. Yes the CRUISE SHIP is expensive, yes some people can afford it and other can't, each person have their opinion and I respect everybody opinion, I just think that the way it is now, we are paying more than we are getting back. Now if you want to take the CRUISE SHIP and pay all that money >, in my case I can afford it, but I won't because I have better things to do with my money, and driving around will cost me peanuts compare to the cost of the CRUISE SHIP You say that"" we have so much to offer " [ I presume Nova-Scotia], why is it that everything that has to do with the CRUISE SHIP like ,fuel, food, dry cleaning, lobster will be bought in Portland not Yarmouth, I suppose our products and food are not good enough. How many places in NOVA-SCOTIA do you have to pay American money to get a "SERVICE". How many new jobs did Yartmouth get so far because of the new CRUISE SHIP?, and I specify Yarmouth not Bedford

  • ArgyleFoxx
    May 24, 2014 - 12:46

    This is a Ferry, plain and simple. I do not know of any cruise ships that take vehicles. That being said, Yarmouth and Maine have been longing for this type of ship to bridge the gap. Yarmouth has suffered greatly. The change out of the MES is a blip on the radar. I myself find the Ferry very expensive. But you factor in the drive to St John, fuel, the ferry from St John to Digby and down to Yarmouth it is cheaper, but less of a hassle just to drive to Portland and sail away for the night. Let's hope this works for everyone. Give progress a chance. So much negativity. If you cannot afford this Ferry, stay home.

    • Philippe Frigault
      May 26, 2014 - 15:15

      1:Correction: as per the Mayor of Yarmouth> this is a Cruise Ship< not a ferry 2- in my case, drive to Yarmouth and go on the ship with a 25 feet motor home my wife and a small dog

  • It's not a problem
    May 24, 2014 - 09:08

    "during an April inspection by the US Coast Guard, Nova Star was required to deploy its MES" “It’s quite a big piece of equipment. (Once deployed) it takes time to get it repackaged. It has to go back to the manufacturer to be repacked and reconfigured,” How does this constitute a problem? It's SOP. The reinstallation takes place AFTER the manufacturer has repacked it. It sounds as if this was the soonest that the ship could get the MES back from the manufacturer. I am so glad I don't constantly look at the world with negativity.

  • Stop the negativity
    May 23, 2014 - 17:09

    From my observation things are going smoothly. They could have done these things in April but, the boat would have been behind schedule in arriving. I for 1 will use the boat to cross to get to the U.S. and no negative comments toward the the ferry will change that. Let's be glad that we have a ferry and leave the issues at the door.

    • Philippe Frigault
      May 24, 2014 - 04:13

      First let me remind you that this is a CRUISE SHIP, not a ferry, ask the people in Yarmouth Second of all, are you trying to make us believe that the Cruise Ship would have been late coming into service if they would have fixed that problem, I don't think so, they had plenty of time even after it went for refit for the casino they could off fix that, that is just poor managment

  • JL
    May 23, 2014 - 10:56

    Not sure why people think this is a big deal. Philippe Frigault I have seen your comments on here regarding anything to do with this boat, mostly regards to pricing. Fact is I can book a trip with a car for a family of 4 for approx $1000 US ( give or take). This really is not that expensive, and if it is for you then you would likely not be a customer they would be targeting. But you cannot blame your own ability to afford something or not on someone else. Also in regards to the Canadian dollar, the lower it goes you do realize that is better for US travelers right? Attracting more travelers here is key to the success of the boat.

  • JL
    May 23, 2014 - 10:53

    Not sure why people think this is a big deal. Philippe Frigault I have seen your comments on here regarding anything to do with this boat, mostly regards to pricing. Fact is I can book a trip with a car for a family of 4 for approx $1000 US ( give or take). This really is not that expensive, and if it is for you then you would likely not be a customer they would be targeting. But you cannot blame your own ability to afford something or not on someone else. Also in regards to the Canadian dollar, the lower it goes you do realize that is better for US travelers right? Attracting more travelers here is key to the success of the boat.

    • Philippe Frigault
      May 24, 2014 - 09:13

      I just found this out and I wanted to SHARE it with all the people living in Nova-Scotia Canada; did you know that: 1-all fuel for the ship will be bought in Portland Maine>>none in Nova-scotia 2- all food, dry cleaners, bakery will be bought in Portland Maine>>>none in Nova-Scotia 3- all lobsters will be bought in Maine Usa>> none from Nova-Scotia Denis Bailey whose Portland firm Savvy Inc provides public relation to Nova Star Cruise says that Yarmouth with just 7200 residents doesn't offer the services that Portland does. 4- So Nova -Scotia subsided over $ 21 M for 7 years and they can't buy a Lobster from us or even a little croissant ????? AND YOU WANT ME TO TAKE THE FERRY????

  • DAVID
    May 22, 2014 - 15:01

    CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS ?????????

    • Philippe Frigault
      May 23, 2014 - 02:46

      This is only the beginning of a long saga be prepare to have a nice long summer and hope the Canadian dollar doesn't go down much more, and of course you can always drive around, Portland is not at the end of the world

    • George Handel
      May 27, 2014 - 16:39

      Come on now Phillip! If YOU could buy fuel in Portland would you do so? Should I believe that you would not, because YOU would choose to pay 30% more in Nova Scotia, for the exact same fuel? When you drive, do you fill up in Maine, or purposely wait until you get to New Brunswick? Phillip, ..... are you negative about everything, or just about ferries? The peak season one way ferry cost is $351 with car and driver, the saver season one way cost is $225. I am truly sorry if those numbers are too much for you Phillip, but perhaps you should have long ago sought a job with more income. I found the ferry (who cares if it is called a ferry, or a cruise ship? ) to be an absolutely delightful journey, when I rode from Yarmouth to Portland last week I will use it at least two more times this year!