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.