Nova Star Facing Early Financial Challenges

The 528-foot, $165 million Nova Star ferry dwarfs the city of Portland's fire boat as it prepares to leave Portland, Maine,Thursday night on its first commercial run to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, Thursday, May 15, 2014. The ship has 162 cabins that range from $99 to $249 a night in the summer. (Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
The 528-foot, $165 million Nova Star ferry dwarfs the city of Portland's fire boat as it prepares to leave Portland, Maine, on its first commercial run to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in May.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP

The Nova Star ferry service, offering travelers a route from Portland, Maine to Nova Scotia, appears to have hit rough waters early on.

Less than three months after the service was launched, The Bangor Daily News reports it is already dipping into the last $2 million of a $21 million loan provided by Nova Scotian officials. Originally only $12 million of that loan was intended to offset the costs of getting the service up and running, with the rest to be doled out over the next seven years. But slower-than-expected ticket sales, a delay in lining up credit through Maine’s government, and other startup costs have brought an early setback to the ferry service’s finances.

Ticket prices for the service start at $139 for an adult in the summer, with additional costs to bring a vehicle along or to access a cabin.

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In a statement to the Daily News, the president of the service acknowledged the challenges.

“There have been several significant challenges, so we know it will take more than the first year to rebuild. We have required the committed funds from the province to get the service established, and we continue to be in ongoing conversations with officials from the province,” the statement read.

Read The Bangor Daily News’s report here.