Nova Scotia-Maine ferry service to be launched May 16, government approves delay

HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government has agreed to delay the launch of a cruise ferry service between the province and Maine by two weeks.

Economic Development Minister Michel Samson says the request from Nova Star Cruises for the delay was reasonable, so the service will start between Yarmouth and Portland on May 16 instead of May 1.

Samson says the government understood starting an international ferry service would involve some complications.

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, the extra time could be valuable in final preparations.

Nova Star Cruises has signed a seven-year lease agreement with the Town of Yarmouth for the use of its municipal ferry terminal.

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.