Province okays May 15 start-up of ferry service

Tina Comeau
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The Nova Star.

By Tina Comeau



The province has approved a request by Nova Star Cruises to push back the start-up of the ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth from May 1 to May 15.

“Everyone wants the ferry to succeed, and as a government we said we would do whatever we can to get the boat back in the water,” says Tina Thibeau, a spokesperson for the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “The ferry company says things will go more smoothly with a mid-May start and the minister has approved their request.”

The approval by minister Michel Sampson was made on Thursday, March 20.

A day earlier the company received the necessary approval from the Federal Maritime Commission to be allowed to start selling tickets for the service.

Nova Star Cruises estimates it will be in a position to start selling tickets by the end of next week. Details will be provided to the public when ticket sales can commence.

The company says postponing the start-up of the season by two weeks is the right decision.

“We have been working within a compressed timetable in order to get everything in place to commence service,” says Mark Amundsen, president and CEO of Nova Star Cruises. “It’s a very complex process. We don’t anticipate the change to have a significant impact on our business, but those extra two weeks could prove to be very valuable in our final preparations.”

In Yarmouth on Wednesday, March 19, where it was announced that a ferry terminal lease agreement had been reached between the ferry company and the town of Yarmouth, Nova Star Cruises chief operating officer Steve Durrell was asked about the two-week delay to the season.

“You can always use more time, but more time costs more money,” he said. “It’s a decision we had to make. We think it’s the right thing to do to make sure we’re ready.”

The Nova Star ferry is on route from Singapore. It is expected to make its first North America port of call in Yarmouth in mid-April. After a brief visit here the ferry will go to Portland where it will be outfitted for the onboard casino, along with modifications needed for the onboard theatre.

The ferry will also make ports of call in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Boston before making its maiden voyage of the ferry season from Portland to Yarmouth on May 15.


Organizations: Nova Star Cruises, Department of Economic and Rural Development, Federal Maritime Commission

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Portland, Singapore North America Portsmouth, New Hampshire Boston

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Recent comments

  • Lou
    March 24, 2014 - 10:17

    I was going to make a comment on yours, but it would be a waste of time. why not just float Nova Scotia out to sea. You might be happy then.

  • alex
    March 23, 2014 - 11:09

    well, my opinion is we are wasting more taxpayer dollars- we already know the traffic can't support yarmouth and digby ferries- now this operator delays service, next will need more money due to a late startup, and lost revenue, then will be not sufficient business as was projected in the business plan, so more money, and so on... So digby needs a new ferry? wonder what might happen there? when will government start doing the right thing and stop giving taxpayer dollars to businesses that can't make it on their own- we repeat mistakes over and over, and wonder why we don't improve our economy?

  • Will Dolan
    March 22, 2014 - 09:09

    Did the minister tell the ferry that an 8% reduction in days of service would accompanied by an 8% reduction in subsidy? If not why not?

    • trgo
      March 22, 2014 - 21:49

      That would seem quite foolish! The goal should be to do whatever makes sense, for ferry start up success. Not to look for ways to sink it!

  • Don Hyslop.
    March 21, 2014 - 15:44

    It has to visit these cities. I t is part of the promotion aspect to show New Englanders what a great time couod be had on this ship

  • philippe frigault
    March 21, 2014 - 04:27

    for now that ferry is push back to the 15 may of course mi-may it will go more smoothly, hope all the ice is melted by then !!!!!, and of course it has to go to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Boston before starting the regular run between Portland and Yarmouth ne wonder it will be delayed 2 weeks

    • TRGO
      March 21, 2014 - 09:45

      Today, Nova Star is in the Eastern Arabian Sea, and headed for the Gulf of Aden. Lots of pirates there!