Nova Star arrival a big day for Yarmouth

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Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star docked on Yarmouth's waterfront. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star off Yarmouth Tuesday morning April 15. PHOTO BY CARLA ALLEN FROM ONBOARD BOAT AT SEA

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star arriving in Yarmouth on Tuesday morning. FRED A. HATFIELD PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Lots of photos being taken. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Here comes the Nova Star. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Memorial Club out to welcome the Nova Star. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star arrives in Yarmouth. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star arrives in Yarmouth. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star arrives in Yarmouth. There were speeches at the Lobster Rock Wharf welcomeing the ferry. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star arrives in Yarmouth. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

West Nova MP Greg Kerr, Economic Minister Michel Samson, Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill and Keith Condon, co-chair of the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Mark Amundsen, president and CEO, Nova Star Cruises (right of photo) was part of the welcome ceremony. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Rush hour on Water Street. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Big news in Yarmouth today .... literally. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on April 15, 2014

Nova Star docked on Yarmouth's waterfront. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

By Eric Bourque and Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

www.thevanguard.ca

 

From the moment people on Lobster Rock Wharf on Yarmouth’s waterfront Tuesday morning caught their first glimpse of the Nova Star you could hear the cheers.

Young children squealed in delight.

Cameras, smartphones and tablets were used to capture this historic day.

Flags held by the Memorial Club members flapped in the wind.

Legion members, students, young dancers, parents, business people, tourism operators, visitors to Yarmouth, young and old, were all among the crowd.

The ferry will be important to all of Nova Scotia but make no mistake, this was Yarmouth’s day.

And people didn’t just gather at the wharf near the ferry terminal to see their ship come in. They chose other vantage points as well, including the Cape Forchu Lighthouse and Bunker’s Island, to watch the Nova Star as it sailed in.

Yarmouth has not had a passenger ferry sail up its harbour since the last season of the Cat ended in 2009.

It also hasn’t seen rush hour on Water Street for nearly as long. A steady stream of vehicles went well into the night as people drove past the ferry terminal to see the Nova Star – a vessel that up until this week they had only seen in photographs.

On April 15 the town welcomed, and embraced, the arrival of the Nova Star for a port-of-call visit. It was the first North American port of call since the vessel left Singapore a month ago for the journey to Yarmouth.

Comments in the crowd varied. “It’s gorgeous,” “It’s big,” said people as they absorbed the size of the vessel, which is larger than any of the previous ferries that have sailed in and out of Yarmouth.

At 161 metres long, the Nova Star is longer than the Scotia Prince, which was 143 metres long. The Cat had been 98 metres long.

More than anything, people are just thankful to see a passenger ferry in Yarmouth once again.

And Tuesday’s visit was years in the making.

Years that have been filled with discouragement, encouragement, hope, dashed hopes, optimism, pessimism and, as of late, a community ground swell to prepare for a resumption of ferry service.

Politicians and community leaders were among the many on hand on the Yarmouth waterfront to officially welcome the Nova Star ferry.

“What a sight,” said Yarmouth MLA and provincial cabinet minister Zach Churchill, referring to the ship, which had docked only minutes before. “What a moment for our community.”

Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood thanked the community for its efforts in getting ready for the restoration of ferry service with Maine.

She found it “so overwhelming that the day is finally here,” she said.

Officials from Nova Star Cruises were pleased – though not surprised – by the turnout for the Nova Star’s arrival.

“It was incredible to see such a strong turnout of the public. We always knew how important this service is to the people of Nova Scotia, but it's really moving to experience this show of support in person,” said Mark Amundsen, president and CEO, Nova Star Cruises.

Other speakers also noted how the community came together to push for a new ferry, including West Nova MP Greg Kerr, who noted the importance of partnerships in getting things done.

Speaking of partnerships, Kerr and the day’s other speakers also cited the work of the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership, which was given the task of making the case for a new ferry and succeeded in doing so.

NSIFP chairman Keith Condon was among those on hand Tuesday to congratulate the community and to wish the operators of the new ferry service well.

Michel Samson, Nova Scotia’s minister of economic and rural development and tourism, spoke of the enthusiasm for the new ship.

“It’s wonderful to see such positive energy here,” he said.

Now that the vessel has arrived – and with the new Yarmouth-Portland service scheduled to start in a month’s time – Samson said, “We must make the most of the opportunity.”

Referring to the millions of potential tourists in the northeastern United States, he said, “We intend to bring many of them here.”

 Churchill – like Samson and other speakers – encouraged the community to keep the momentum going, to do everything it can to help the new service succeed.

“Our work is not over,” he said.

Mayor Mood acknowledged that there are those who perhaps thought this day would never come, people who said they would only believe there would be another ferry service once they saw the ship in the harbour.

To these people, she said, “Welcome to the believers group.”

 

Geographic location: Yarmouth

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Recent comments

  • Nancy Elwell
    April 16, 2014 - 15:19

    hi, could you send info on where to get a ferry schedule from Portland, ME to Nova Scotia? I wanted to plan a trip to visit my Acadian ancestors!!! thanks.... Nancy

  • Catherine Shanks
    April 15, 2014 - 18:01

    Congratulations Yarmouth!!! I was always in the "Believer's Group"!! Hey Maine, welcome back to Nova Scotia's "dooryard"!!! It's the town to see!!

  • Beverly Bennett
    April 15, 2014 - 17:01

    The Welcome Mat is out...As we say down here in the South USA.."You'll come on in". We have a place on Digby Neck and hours of driving will be saved

  • John Townsend
    April 15, 2014 - 15:04

    Well the day has finally arrived, armouth has welcomed the vessel with much fan fare. Yarmouth appears ready to accept the tourists as they disembark on there journey to Nova Scotia, but how ready is the remainder of Nova Scotia. I have read a great deal about the Yarmouth and cadia shores group, which now includes much of the Annapolis Valley on board, but I have not heard as much as I would like to have heard about the South Shore, or has the preperation been carried out, but at such a low key that residents and businesses are saying little. One would think one would observe preparation, as one can see in Yarmouth, fresh paint and excitment...I have seen little of either along the South Shore, and wonder why? . The arrival of the ferry will not solve all of financhal ills along the South Shore, bu is a darn good start...save for this spot on the Advance...one would be hard pressed to know that the 163 meter Nova Star would be docking in Yarmouth today. This news is not only Yarmouth news, ths is Nova Scotia news, and just what rural Nova Scotia requires. Although it should have been done weeks and weeks ago, the South Shore had soon start making a little noise... Thanks

  • John Townsend
    April 15, 2014 - 15:02

    Well the day has finally arrived, armouth has welcomed the vessel with much fan fare. Yarmouth appears ready to accept the tourists as they disembark on there journey to Nova Scotia, but how ready is the remainder of Nova Scotia. I have read a great deal about the Yarmouth and cadia shores group, which now includes much of the Annapolis Valley on board, but I have not heard as much as I would like to have heard about the South Shore, or has the preperation been carried out, but at such a low key that residents and businesses are saying little. One would think one would observe preparation, as one can see in Yarmouth, fresh paint and excitment...I have seen little of either along the South Shore, and wonder why? . The arrival of the ferry will not solve all of financhal ills along the South Shore, bu is a darn good start...save for this spot on the Advance...one would be hard pressed to know that the 163 meter Nova Star would be docking in Yarmouth today. This news is not only Yarmouth news, ths is Nova Scotia news, and just what rural Nova Scotia requires. Although it should have been done weeks and weeks ago, the South Shore had soon start making a little noise... Thanks

  • George Handel
    April 15, 2014 - 13:56

    A FANTASTIC ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL OF NOVA SCOTIA !!!