— Tina Comeau (@TinaComeaunews) April 15, 2014
The Nova Star ferry made its first stop in North America, sailing into Yarmouth harbour today, April 15, and welcomed by hundreds of people lining the shores.
The province is providing support to set up a new ferry service in Yarmouth, re-establishing a link between the province and the northeastern United States.
“The Nova Star’s arrival is a testament to the collective efforts of the residents of this community and region, and all the partners involved,” said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson.
“It shows what we can achieve when we come together and stay focused on a goal. The community is continuing to work hard so we’re ready to welcome visitors and make sure they have a great time while they’re here.”
Steve Durrell, COO, Nova Star Cruises, said being on hand for the end of Nova Star’s 16,000-kilometre voyage from Singapore, where the vessel was built, was a satisfying experience.
“We have been working full steam ahead with our partners and community members since we were selected to restore the ferry service,” said Mr. Durrell. “Seeing Nova Star sail into Yarmouth and tie up at the Yarmouth Ferry Terminal is the culmination of all that hard work.”
The new, 161-metre vessel, which will offer a cruise-ferry experience for passengers, will make daily round-trip crossings between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine. The maiden voyage from Portland is set for May 15, arriving in Yarmouth the next morning, with crossings continuing until Nov. 2.
“Nova Star has come in to port, and through the commitment of government at all levels, dedication of the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership and amazing support from businesses, individuals and citizens, this important link between Atlantic Canada and northeastern United States is ready to be restored,” said Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood. “The only day that will top this as a red-letter day is when the first passengers step off Nova Star and are welcomed to our town on the morning of May 16, 2014!”
The province will provide $21 million to support establishing the ferry.
Other partners supporting Nova Star and the province establish the service include the town of Yarmouth, the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership, municipalities in the region, the federal government including the Canadian Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, and the United States Consul General in Halifax.