Nova Star Readies for Maiden Voyage from Portland to Nova Scotia After 5 Year Lapse

Mark H. Amundsen, (R), Daughter Theresa (M) and Levin, (L) at Ocean Gateway Today

Mark H. Amundsen, (R), Daughter Theresa (M) and Levin, (L) at Ocean Gateway Today

Sandy Baron & Joel Blau on Nova Star's Maiden Voyage Tonight.

Sandy Baron & Joel Blau on Nova Star’s Maiden Voyage Tonight.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,885)

Passengers from all over the East Coast began arriving at Ocean Gateway this afternoon  preparing for the maiden voyage of the Nova Star to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, tonight.  About three hundred passengers will make the overnight passage to a country that is badly in need of an economic boost since the Scota Prince stopped service about five years ago. One couple from Virginia said they had made a telephone reservation this morning.

The number of passengers for this maiden voyage was limited to three hundred said Mark H. Amundsen, president of Nova Star Cruises who was at Ocean Gateway this afternoon answering questions from passengers.  The ship carries 1,200 passengers, but Nova Star wanted to limit the number of passengers to a “manageable” number for this first voyage, said Amundsen.  ” This is a test trip, so we wanted to limit the number of passengers. I wanted to be on the first trip over to Nova Scotia to see the operations first hand.  We’ve been very busy working on this for three years.  It’s taken lots of planning and work,” he said smiling.  Amundsen and his daughter and her boyfriend are also on the maiden voyage.  Also traveling in the party were Amundsen’s mother Maureen whose birthday is tomorrow!  “I  am so proud of my son,” she said.  “Of all of my children actually.”

A couple who came up from Brooklyn, New York to be on the maiden voyage and were in a short line at Ocean Gateway this afternoon are Sandy Baron and Joel Blau. Professor Blau said that his family has been coming to Nova Scotia  for years.  His parents had a summer home there and he and his wife, Sandy, do as well.  In fact it’s located seven miles from the ferry terminal.  “We hope this will bring Yarmouth back from a recession it has suffered since 2009 when the last ferry left.  Hotels have shut-down and restaurants closed.  The unemployment rate is up to 13%. That’s high for a place with only 7,000 people living in it,” said Baron.

Cars were to be loaded on the Nova Star at 7:00 pm with departure scheduled for 10:00 p.m.  Arrival time  is set for 8:00 am.

For more details, check the website.