By Tina Comeau
The company that will reestablish ferry service between Yarmouth and Portland says it is on schedule for a May 1, start and is working towards having its online reservation system in place in the coming weeks.
Marketing and promotion of the Yarmouth-to-Portland cruise ferry service is also well underway, says a spokesperson for the service.
“Nova Star Cruises has placed ads in many important tourism publications, including Nova Scotia’s Doers and Dreamers, Maine’s Maine Invites You and a number of regional visitors' guides,” says Sean Lewis.
“In addition, we have already generated hundreds of fans and followers on social media and have made contact with top travel writers and bloggers in Canada and the United States,” Lewis adds. “Over the next few months, we will continue to inform and engage with travellers as we prepare to welcome the first passengers on the Nova Star.”
In early December the company released information about the rates for the ferry service, however these rates do no appear on the Nova Star Cruises website. Lewis says the rates will be posted to the website when the online reservation system is live.
As for marketing the service, Lewis says Nova Star Cruises has been working closely with the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency and the Maine Office of Tourism to market the Nova Star as an important travel link and experience between Nova Scotia and Maine.
“This includes collaborating on many initiatives and attending important travel industry and consumer trade shows,” he says.
The 161-metre cruise ferry is still at ST Marine’s shipyard in Singapore. Lewis says “in the near future” it will receive modifications and paint before its voyage to North America.
The company has recently made some announcements pertaining to people who have been hired, this includes Danny Morton as director of cruise marketing and business development and Julie Walters as director of the Nova Star Discovery Program.
Asked about additional employment opportunities, Lewis says, “Nova Star Cruises will work with International Shipping Partners, operating partner of Nova Star, to manage onboard employment opportunities. Nova Star Cruises will manage shore-side employment opportunities.”
He says in the coming weeks, Nova Star Cruises will be finalizing details to establish a contact centre, which will provide additional employment opportunities.
“Those interested in employment opportunities with Nova Star Cruises should regularly visit www.NovaStarCruises.com for updates,” he says.
Asked for further details about the contact centre, including where it will be located, Lewis says those details aren’t yet ready for release as they are still being finalized.