Posted by: cruise2 | 21 April, 2014

Nova Star Cruises

by Kevin Griffin writing for

The 27,444-ton cruise ferry Nova Star

Since Sunward, there have been many more cruise ferry services on routes around the world, of which the original were in the Baltic and the North Sea. But the news that triggers this piece is the arrival of a vessel called Nova Star.

The 27,444-ton Nova Star is a newbuilding from ST Marine in Singapore and has arrived in her new homeport of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. here, she will revive the Gulf of Maine ferry service to Portland, Maine, which has seen no overnight service for a decade.

Scotia Prince

Nova Star’s capacity is substantially more than that of the last Yarmouth-to-Portland night ferry, the 12,087-ton Scotia Prince, a former Stena Line vessel that left the service in 2004.

Nova Star was launched as Norman Leader in 2011, for LD Lines, but the contract was cancelled. She can carry 1,215 passengers and will be operated by a joint venture between ST Marine and Quest Navigation Inc of Maine.

The joint venture, incorporated in Maine as STM Quest Inc, will operate under the name Nova Star Cruises. Nova Star will charter the ship from ST Marine under a seven-year contract, with Nova Scotia contributing $10.5 million for start-up costs and $1.5 million per year for marketing assistance, or $21 million over the period.

The vessel will be showcased in Boston on May 12 and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on May 14 before commencing service from Portland on May 15. She will leave Portland at 8 pm daily for a 7 am arrival in Yarmouth (10 hours), and depart Yarmouth at 9 am daily to arrive in Portland at 5 pm (9 hours), all local time. Overnight round-trip cruises will be sold from both sides and this year’s service is due to run until October 31.


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