March 5, 2013

Proposals for ferry to Portland are rejected

Nova Scotia says it will keep looking for an operator to start service between the province and Maine in 2014.

By Tom Bell tbell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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click image to enlarge

The Scotia Prince at Portland International Ferry Terminal on April 28, 2003. Nova Scotia has rejected both proposals for restarting a ferry service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Portland in 2013.

Staff File Photo

The Cat, a high-speed catamaran took over the Portland-Yarmouth route in 2005. The Cat ended its service after the 2009 season, after carrying about 75,000 passengers, less than half of the number of passengers who traveled across the Gulf of Maine in 2002 on the Scotia Prince and the Cat, which at the time traveled between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth.

According to a Nova Scotia study completed last August by a panel of tourism, ferry and business experts, a number of factors have led to the decline of Nova Scotia as a tourism destination for Americans. They include the appreciating Canadian dollar, higher fuel prices, confusion over U.S. passport requirements and the weakened state of the U.S. economy since 2007.

In addition, the study noted, Nova Scotia is facing growing global competition, such as cheap airfares, exotic destinations and the mass-market cruise vacation. The report'd authors said Nova Scotians have a lot of work to do if they want to lure back Americans.

"It will take more than a ferry across the Gulf of Maine to bring back the visitors whose departure over the past decade is the reason there is no ferry service today," the report said.

Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:

tbell@pressherald.com

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