On May 15th, a new ferry service will begin making daily trips between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
With a capacity of 1,215 passengers, the MV Nova Star isn't exactly your average ferry though. Shipboard amenities include multiple restaurants—seafood will feature prominently—an art gallery, casino, and full-service spa.
Canada-bound sailings will depart Portland at 9 p.m., with accommodations ranging from large reclining chairs to 250-square-foot suites. Vacationers will arrive in Yarmouth at 8 a.m.
A major boon to tourism for the region, the Nova Star reconnects New England with Canada's Nova Scotia for the first time since 2009, when another high-speed ferry discontinued service.
Rene LeBlanc, General Manager of Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa on the the island's southwest coast, says that his corner of the province in particular stands to benefit from renewed service. On top of rerouting visitors through the area, the memorable experience of a ferry ride could also entice new visitors as well. It "can only be seen as a win-win," LeBlanc says.
Visit Nova Star Cruises or call 866-864-6295 for more information.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.