The new Nova Star ferry, which took its maiden voyage May 15, has canceled four sailings next week for a one-time maintenance requirement.
The 528-foot-long ferry, featuring a full range of luxury amenities, makes daily round-trip crossings between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. According to an alert posted on its website, the ship needs to replace its Marine Evacuation System (MES), which includes a chute and four inflatable life rafts.
Last month, the US Coast Guard required Nova Star to activate its emergency system during an inspection. The ship had to take a loaner MES while its own was being inspected. Testing the system involves inflating it and then packing it up again.
Dennis Bailey, spokesman for Nova Star Cruises Ltd., told the Portland Press Herald “it takes a lot to pack it all up.’’ Now that the ferry’s system has been packed up, it needs to be switched with the loaner.
The dates of the canceled sailings are as follows:
Tuesday, May 27: Portland departure
Wednesday, May 28: both Yarmouth and Portland departures
Thursday, May 29: Yarmouth departure
Passengers booked on those trips will receive a refund and the opportunity to rebook, according to the company.
“One would rather see any hiccups at the startup, as opposed to a month or two months from now. If it’s two days, that’s unfortunate, but I’m sure that they’ll be right back in business as soon as they can be,’’ West Nova MP Greg Kerr told the Herald News.