Nova Star Cruises announced a short while ago that they finally found a winter route to sail their ship on. Loyal readers will recall that the Nova Star was laid up on Charleston, South Carolina for several months during last winter as no alternate deployment could be found. The supposed winter route will have her sail the English Channel between Ramsgate, England, and Boulogne, France. I say ‘supposed’ because according to British Officials, no one has approached them regarding this supposed route.
A spokesman for Nova Star Cruises said that they have a signed agreement with Euroferries Express to time charter the Nova Star for the winter 2015-2016. Nova Star Cruises will not be involved with any operations of the European deployment as it will all be assumed by Euroferries.
Euroferries have stated they are based in France and will be inquiring with Ramsgate officials to plan out the route.
In other Nova Star news, there’s also some uncertainty on the future of the Portland-Yarmouth service. WCSH in Portland, the local NBC affiliate, quotes a Nova Star Cruises spokesperson as saying:
He said any winter work won’t affect the current route. He says the 528-foot Nova Star will be back next spring to resume its Maine-to-Nova Scotia service.
However, a Boston news station WCVB, local ABC affiliate, states that the decision is with the Government of Nova Scotia which subsidizes the route.
The decision to renew the Nova Star’s contract is up to officials with the Province of Nova Scotia, which subsidizes much of the ferry service’s costs.
Passenger traffic is up 10% this year, however it seems they will miss their mark again this year for annual passengers.
Should Nova Star not be back next year, there are other ventures that are interested in operating a ferry between Maine and Nova Scotia.