I don’t often publish press releases, but with all the chat about the ferry this summer (both from our readers and across the province) thought this one might be of interest. The Nova Star will be cutting their season short, with service now ending October 14th.
We took the Nova Star back in July on the way home from a four-day trip where we pretty much ate our way around the city. Stories from that series, including our experiences on The Nova Star are linked below.
BEDFORD, NS September 8, 2014 – Nova Star Cruises Ltd. announced today that it will shorten its 2014 sailing season and focus on preparation for the 2015 season.
Nova Star will make its final 2014 sailing from Portland, ME on the evening of Monday, Oct. 13th and arrive in Yarmouth, NS on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 14th. The originally planned final date of sail was Sunday, Nov. 2nd.
Nova Star Cruises is directly contacting individuals and companies with reservations after Oct. 14th to advise them of the change in schedule. The 650 impacted passengers will be provided with a full refund and either a free reservation for the remainder of this year or a 50% discount for the same booking in 2015.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience the shortened season will have on our passengers,” said Mark Amundsen, President and CEO, Nova Star Cruises. “For the long-term success of the service, we have decided to end our first season earlier than planned and will focus our efforts on building business for next year.”
In October the ferry service traditionally focuses on transporting motor coach tours, which can take one-to-two years in advance to secure. The timing of Nova Star Cruises’ selection to operate the ferry service hindered the company’s ability to secure adequate motor coach business for this year’s fall sailing season. Nova Star Cruises will carry 23 motor coach tours this season and already has 31 booked for 2015.
“We have been making good progress securing motor coach business for next year and we are confident that we can further increase our motor coach and other business lines by focusing our efforts in October on business development,” said Amundsen.
Nova Star Cruises welcomed more than 20,000 passengers onboard Nova Star in August and passenger numbers have increased by more than 50% month-over-month since launching the cruise-ferry service in May 2014. To date, Nova Star has carried more than 45,000 passengers.
Nova Star Cruises is currently in discussion with the Province of Nova Scotia to determine appropriate start and end dates for the 2015 season. Upon completion of the 2014 sailing season, Nova Star will temporarily lay-up in Yarmouth, NS and the company will continue to search for winter work opportunities and alternate lay-up facilities.