Nova Star ferry arrives in Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Nova Star ferry arrived in Portland around noon Thursday after months of planning and some financial problems. The ship left Nova Scotia at 10 p.m. Wednesday night and arrived at the Ocean Gateway.

The cruise-ferry made its Canadian appearance on Tuesday after a month long journey from Singapore. The vessel was manufactured in Singapore and has sat there unused. The ferry has a capacity of 1,200 passengers and has three restaurants, a theater, spa and casino. It is a 10 hour boat ride from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Portland.

The Nova Star ran into problems with money because the U.S. requires cruise and ferry companies to have a reserve fund with sufficient money to refund tickets. Without this, the company could not advertise or finalize ticket details. Nova Scotia pledged millions to the project and gave enough money for the ferry company to have the two-million dollar reserve fund.

One-way ticket prices range from $79 to $139 for adults and $39 to $64 children, depending on the season. The ferry will not start operating until May 15. Crews will be putting on the finishing touches on vessel and outfitting it for voyage. The casino still needs to be finished and crews must conduct safety sea trials. The boat will also be christened in Boston before making it's maiden voyage.


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