December 15, 2017
Business Latest News | Poll Questions | Net Neutrality | Republican Tax Bill | Susan Collins

Portland-Nova Scotia ferry to resume service Thursday, optimistic for season

By Jake Bleiberg, BDN Staff
Troy R. Bennett | BDN | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN | BDN
The high-speed ferry known as The Cat, which arrived late Sunday night or early this morning, sits at the Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland, June 6, 2016.

PORTLAND, Maine — The ferry that runs between Maine and Nova Scotia intends to resume service Thursday after engine problems caused it to cancel three scheduled trips this week.

Bay Ferries Limited canceled return services to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on Monday after its ferry arrived in Portland with only two of its four engines working.

It has had one engine out of commission since late June and problems were detected in a third while sailing Monday, the Canadian company said in a statement. That issue has been identified as a defect in one of the engine’s 20 cylinders.

The company is spending Wednesday repairing the engine and its catamaran is scheduled to get back underway Thursday afternoon. Bay Ferries arranged for another ship to carry some of its displaced customers Tuesday night and apologized for the inconvenience in a statement.

In June, the company announced it would offer fewer trips between Maine and Nova Scotia because it could not fix problems with one engine during the 2017 season.

Since those issues, it was scheduled to make five round-trips per week instead of the seven it was scheduled to make through August. With three working engines the crossing takes about 6½ hours rather than the 5½ required with all engines firing, a company statement said.

Despite the engine troubles, the ferry company appears pleased with its performance this season.

From May 31 to June 30, it carried 7,677 passengers and 2,516 vehicles, according to the city of Portland, which charges a fee for people and cars disembarking. This netted the city nearly $24,000.
The ferry runs through October and last season it carried a total of 35,511 passengers, falling well shy of the 60,000 passenger target set by the Nova Scotia provincial government, which provided the company millions of dollars in subsidies.

Including pre-sales, Bay Ferries has already exceeded its total ticket sales from last year and is “very optimistic” for this season, President Mark MacDonald told The Tri-County Vanguard, a Nova Scotia newspaper.
Bay Ferries took over the contract for a ferry service awarded by the Nova Scotia government in 2016, after years of poor performance from the previous operator.

That company, Nova Star Cruises, had its ship seized and filed for bankruptcy in 2016 after two years of missing its projected passenger counts.

 


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like