The Cat, the newest ferry to shuttle passengers between Maine and Nova Scotia, has finished its sea trials and is headed to Portland.

The 349-foot vessel, with a passenger capacity of about 750, left Charleston, South Carolina, where it had undergone two months of extensive renovations and repairs, according to a news release from its operator, Bay Ferries LTD.

“We are extremely grateful to our Bay Ferries’ team who led this extremely complex and challenging project against a very tight timeline,” Mark MacDonald, chairman and CEO of Bay Ferries, said in the release. The work was performed at Detyens Shipyard Inc.

Service between the ports of Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, is expected to resume June 15.

During the sea trials, the ferry achieved a speed of 42 knots (about 48 mph). The vessel’s normal open sea operating speed is expected to be on the order of 33-35 knots.

The Cat is expected to make the 185-nautical-mile crossing in 5.5 hours, about half the time as its predecessor, the Nova Star, which was a luxury ferry 50 percent larger than the Cat. The Nova Star made the crossing in roughly 10 hours.

MacDonald said final prep for the service includes receiving final regulatory approvals, issuance of certification, training and testing of life-saving appliances, which will happen in both Portland and Yarmouth.

Ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine is considered an important element in the province’s tourism industry. The Canadian government subsidized the Nova Star operation with $40 million (Canadian) over two years before selecting another provider.

It invested $9 million to upgrade the Cat, and pledged a $10 million subsidy for the first year of its operation.