Nova Scotia-Maine ferry service asks for May launch date to be delayed

HALIFAX – The operator of a new cruise ferry operation between Nova Scotia and Maine has asked the provincial government to approve delaying the service by two weeks.

Nova Star Cruises says it has submitted a request with the government to move the proposed launch date for the service between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine from May 1 to May 15.

The company says it has been working within a compressed timetable and while it doesn’t expect the delay to have a significant impact on business, that extra time could be valuable in final preparations.

Nova Star Cruises says it has signed a seven-year lease agreement with the Town of Yarmouth for the use of its municipal ferry terminal and secured a certificate of performance from the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, allowing it to advertise fares and sell tickets.

Under its lease agreement, the company will be responsible for operational costs and pay Yarmouth an annual lease and usage fee, based on passenger numbers.

Nova Star Cruises says based on its projected inaugural passenger count of about 100,000, it estimates that the lease agreement will generate more than $350,000 for Yarmouth this year.

The provincial government has committed $21 million over seven years to support the ferry service.