The Nova Star is arriving in Yarmouth Harbour on Tuesday, ending a four-year wait between ferry visits.
YARMOUTH – After four years of waiting, Yarmouth will see a passenger ferry sail into its harbour on Tuesday.
The Nova Star is scheduled to dock at the Yarmouth ferry terminal shortly after noon on April 15.
This will mark the first time that the ship – which has made the month-long journey from Singapore – will dock in North America.
The arrival of the Nova Star will be accompanied by a welcoming ceremony on Tuesday and public tours on Wednesday.
The public is invited to the Lobster Rock Wharf parking lot to help welcome the Nova Star. Entertainment will start at 11:30 a.m. with the ferry entering the harbour at noon. The Nova Star will be escorted in by a Canadian Coast Guard vessel. It will dock at the terminal at 12:20 p.m. Various dignitaries will provide remarks to welcome the ferry.
Public parking will be limited in the vicinity of the ferry terminal on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, April 16, the public will have the opportunity to go onboard the Nova Star. Tours will be conducted from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis, says Nova Star Cruises. To go on board all attendees will be required to show identification. Those under 16 years old can show a birth certificate or health card. Everyone over the age of 16 must show photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s licence.
Parking for the April 16 event will be available at the Lobster Rock Wharf parking lot, throughout downtown Yarmouth and at the Visitor Information Center. Additional parking will be available at the Mariners Centre with a free shuttle service provided by Tri-Star Industries.
Nova Star Cruises has said that it was important that Yarmouth be the ferry’s first North American port of call.
“This is going to be a very proud day for everyone in Nova Scotia, and especially all the people of Yarmouth,” says Mark Amundsen, president and CEO of Nova Star Cruises. “I know there’s been great anticipation, but I think seeing Nova Star for the first time will far exceed people’s expectations. This is the day Nova Scotians finally get to see their ship come in, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
The visit by the ferry won’t just be a social call, there will be work associated with the visit, which will include testing of docking facilities and the loading and unloading of the vessel. This visit will also be the first time the ferry gets accustomed to maneuvering in and out of the harbour.
There is much anticipation of the ship’s arrival.
“Restoring this vital link with the northeastern United States is an opportunity for our entire province and I am looking forward to experiencing the community’s reaction when the ferry sails into Yarmouth harbour for the first time,” says Michel Samson, the province’s minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.
After its visit, the Nova Star will depart for Portland at 10 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
Last month Nova Star Cruises began 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 advertised fares. While people are excited to see ferry service resume and have booked tickets or plan to, others are expressing disappointment saying the fares 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, company spokesperson Sean Lewis says they’re not because they are encouraged by the bookings that have taken place so far.