Nova Scotia cancels 2020 sailing season due to COVID-19 concerns

   June 28, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

Nova Scotia's Government canceled the 2020 passenger shipping season for the subsidized ferry service that links NS with Maine USA, citing "the ongoing struggle to contain COVID in the USA."

The service is by Charlottetown-based BAY FERRIES Ltd. The company in February 2020 announced that the crossings are scheduled to start by June 26. BAY FERRIES operates The Cat )high-speed catamaran ferry) linking Yarmouth NS and Bar Harbor ME, where the ferry company was completing terminal renovations.

The problem-plagued ferry cost taxpayers an extra USD 4 million as it sat idle for the entire 2019 season.

The Liberal member of the legislature who represents the Yarmouth area, Zach Churchill, said the additional costs were "associated with tying up the ferry and upgrading the US terminal."

In 2019, the province spent a total of USD 17,8 million on the idled service.

Last year the season was scrapped when Bay Ferries could not complete construction work at the ferry terminal to meet U.S. Customs and Border Protection specifications. The construction was necessary after Bay Ferries moved its U.S. entry point from Portland ME, where the ferry had operated for 5 years.

In 2018, work at the ferry terminal forced Bay Ferries to cancel bookings several times prior to finally suspending them in July.

The original plan of the company for 2020 was to offer crossings 6 days per week (every day but Wednesdays) until the season ended on October 13.

The ferry is expected to remain at its off-season homeport Charleston, South Carolina USA.