Planning underway for next week's Yarmouth visit of Nova Star

Tina Comeau
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By Tina Comeau



More details will be forthcoming this week about next week’s visit of the Nova Star ferry to Yarmouth.

Yarmouth will be the first North American port of call for the vessel. As of now the plans are for the ship to be here Tuesday, April 15 and Wednesday, April 16.

The ship is making its way here after having left Singapore in mid-March for the month-long journey. The ferry was in Lisbon, Portugal on April 7.

On the first day of the ship’s arrival in Yarmouth there will be a ceremony involving dignitaries who will speak about the vessel and the resumption of ferry service.

The following day, a media tour of the vessel is planned in the morning. After that there will be public tours of the boat.

Sean Lewis, a spokesperson for Nova Star Cruises, says they will be issuing a media release this week that will provide more information on the logistics of the public tours.

Meanwhile, the visit by the ferry won’t just be a social call, there will be work associated with the visit. Lewis says there will be testing of loading and unloading of the vessel carried out with the docking facilities. This visit will also be the first time the ferry gets accustomed to maneuvering in and out of the harbour.

There will be some parking restrictions on parts of Water Street while the ferry is in port.

The Lobster Rock Wharf parking lot, for instance, won’t be available for normal service on these two days due to activities being scheduled around the ferry’s arrival.

Meanwhile, Nova Star Cruises has been selling tickets and taking reservations for the ferry service. The ferry will leave Portland on its maiden voyage on Thursday, May 15 and arrive in Yarmouth the morning of May 16.

On social media there have been mixed reactions about the start-up of ferry service. While people are excited to see ferry service resume and have booked tickets or plan to, others are expressing disappointment over the fares, saying they are too expensive and will drive passengers away.

Nova Star Cruises is marketing the voyage as a cruise-type experience given the amenities on board the ship.

Asked if the company is concerned by those who have said they’ll be giving the ferry a pass, Lewis says they’re not because they are encouraged by the bookings that have taken place so far.

“As of last week over 50 per cent of the maiden voyage was sold,” he says. “I think when you look at the number of people who have signed up already it shows that there is a market there. It’s been strong. We’re still confident over 100,000 passengers will go on the ferry this year.”

Another issue that has caused a lot of chatter on social media is the pet policy on board the vessel. Many people would prefer the option of being able to leave their pets in their vehicles so they're in more familiar surroundings as opposed to in a kennel where they can’t be visited. Nova Star Cruises says it is looking at the pet policy and considering whether changes need to be made.

NOTE: Comments on our website are moderated and do not appear automatically when submitted by the person making the comment.



Organizations: Nova Star Cruises, North American, The Lobster Rock Wharf

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Singapore, Lisbon Portugal Water Street Portland

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Recent comments

  • Dianne O,Dea
    April 08, 2014 - 18:07

    I am hoping that the powers to be for the Nova Star will reconsider the pet policy. I have sailed on other ferry service such as (B.C ferry, Marine Atlantic and Bay Ferry) they all say that the preferred place for pets is in the owner’s vehicles. They do have kennels available if so desired. The Nova Star must realize how stressful it would be for most pets to be in a noisy and unfamiliar place without their owners for 10 to 12 hours. I believe it would be beneficial for Nova Star to allow pets to stay in their owner’s vehicles where they would be safe, comfortable, and familiar with their environment. Also the pets would not be interacting with any of the passengers or staff of the Nova Star. This is a win win for all concerned

  • Letha Whitmore
    April 08, 2014 - 13:49

    I am very glad to see ferry service restored--but I am disappointed at there not being better return fares.

  • Juanita
    April 08, 2014 - 00:13

    This is wonderful news! I for one can't wait FOR OUR SHIP TO COME IN!

  • Mark in Maine
    April 07, 2014 - 13:58

    AFAIK, passengers won't be able to access their cars during the passage, either, so that's not an advantage over a kennel. Comments are my own. Good luck Nova Star!

    • Dianne
      April 08, 2014 - 18:28

      Mark you can leave water and food in your car for your pet, if the pet feels safe and comfortable they will most likley sleep most of the time. Much better then being in a kennel and scared of the unknown