Nova Star ferry

Former names: BO619, Norman Leader

Nova Star ferry current position

Nova Star ferry current location is at Baltic Sea (coordinates 54.80374 N / 16.78393 E) cruising at speed of 12.9 kn (24 km/h | 15 mph) en route to GDANSK. The AIS position was reported 19 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Nova Star ferry

Year of build2011  /  Age: 13
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderST Marine (Singapore)
Classcruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)
Ferry route / homeportsGdansk-Nynashamn
Building costUSD 179 million
Speed21 kn / 39 km/h / 24 mph
Length (LOA)162 m / 531 ft
Beam (width)26 m / 85 ft
Gross Tonnage27744 gt
Freight vehicles164
Former namesBO619, Norman Leader
OwnerSingapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine)

Nova Star ferry Review

Review of Nova Star ferry

MS Nova Star ferry is a Ro-Pax passenger vessel operated by the Polish company POLFERRIES. The ship has a max capacity of 1215 passengers and 200 cars plus 164 trucks (trailers). The vessel was launched in 2011 and currently operates on the Poland-Sweden ferry route Gdansk-Nynashamn (crossing time 19 hours).


As cruise ferry, Nova Star has 162 cabins with a total of 648 berths. All staterooms are air-conditioned and with en-suite bathrooms (washbasin, WC, shower). The ferry company provides bed linens, towels, and toiletries. The ship additionally has 248 reclining seats (aircraft-type seats) available for pre-booking in Reserved Seating Lounge.

The ship's staterooms are in the following categories:

  • 155x 4-bed cabins
  • 7x Lux 4-bed cabins

Cabins are inside and outside, in an economy and luxury class.

All passengers must vacate their staterooms 30 min prior to homeport arrival.

Nova Star ferry ship (Nova Star Cruises)

Shipboard dining and entertainment options

As facilities, the Nova Star ship offers:

  • Fathoms Buffet Restaurant (self-service)
  • Currents a la Carte Restaurant
  • Piper's Pub Restaurant
  • Novatique Bar (Cafeteria)
  • Keys Piano Bar (live entertainment)
  • Big Nellie's Casino (gaming lounge with Black Jack table and 70 slot machines)
  • Conference Center and Theater
  • Art Gallery
  • Kids Zone is a Children's Playroom (indoor playground) with large TV and panoramic windows. The supervised kids' activities include organized art-craft competitions with prizes.
  • Reserved Seating Lounge has 248 reclining / Pullman seats.
  • Duty-Free Shop is a retail selling alcohol (liquors, beers, wines), tobaccos, perfumes and cosmetics, sunglasses, watches, jewelry, designer clothes, and accessories (by the brands Levi's, Wrangler, Gatta, Wolbar, Cornette), electronics and gadgets, toys, confectionery, gifts, and souvenirs.
  • Wi-Fi, ATM / cash machine (next to Information Desk / Reception)

Sun Deck (outdoor seating area) doubles as Helideck (helipad) - helicopter landing platform used in cases of emergency.


All onboard emergency instructions are displayed in staterooms, on the TV screens and at the ship's assembly stations (aka muster stations). Life jackets are issued at the assembly stations. In case of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden.

Car decks

Garage decks (for cars and trucks) are decks 3-4-5. They are connected via 3 ramps - 1 bow, 1 stern and 1 tiltable.

Nova Star ferry ship (Nova Star Cruises)

Follows a list of car decks related safety procedures:

  • Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit the ship's Information Desk.
  • Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
  • From your vehicle take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
  • Make a note of your vehicle's location and garage deck number/stairway before leaving the car deck.
  • Access to the ship's vehicle (cargo) decks during the voyage is prohibited.
  • Smoking on vehicle decks, as well as in cabins and passenger lounges is forbidden.
  • Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.
  • In order to avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.

The shipowner Polferries (fleet, 1976-founded, headquartered in Kolobrzeg, Poland) is Poland's largest ferry shipping company with Baltic Sea lines connecting Poland with Sweden.

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The vessel was ordered in 2008, launched on October 8, 2009, christened in 2011 and delivered to ST Marine (Singapore) in May 2014. The inaugural cruise was on May 15, leaving from Ocean Gateway International Marine Passenger Terminal in Portland ME.

Ship's powerplant consists of 4x marine diesel engines (combined output 22,4 MW), plus 3x auxiliary engines (combined output 4,62 MW). Propulsion includes 2x bow thrusters (total power 3 MW) and 2x shaft lines with controllable pitch propellers.

The vessel (under the name "Norman Leader") was built for the French shipping company LD Lines, which in 2007 signed with ST Marine a USD 179 million shipbuilding contract in 2007. LD Lines intended to use the ferry in the English Channe. However, the contract was canceled on March 17, 2011 (due to "vessel capacities not corresponding with those specified originally"). The ship was sold to Nova Star Cruises and operated seasonally (summers 2014-2015) on the USA-Canada route Portland ME-Yarmouth NS.

In 2016-2018, the cruise ferry was chartered to Inter Shipping (Morocco-based company founded in 2012) for the Spain-Morocco service Algeciras-Tangier.

The ferry features cruise-ship-like design and amenities, including 2 restaurants, 3 bar lounges, theater, casino, duty-free shop, kids playground area, spa, art gallery, live entertainment.

In 2018, POLFERRIES (Polish Baltic Shipping Ltd) purchased the ferry and started operations on the Poland-Sweden route Gdansk-Nynashamn. On this service, MS Nova Star joined the fleet mate Wawel and the Poland-Sweden line was expanded to 6 weekly departures.


Nova Star Cruises

The initial shipowner Nova Star Cruises Ltd was a shipping company established in 2014 as a joint venture between Quest Navigation and ST Marine.

In November 2013, the company was awarded the Gulf of Maine ferry service contract for the Portland-Yarmouth route. To the company, the Nova Scotia government-issued CAD 21 million in subsidizing the service for 7 years (CAD 3 million per year). Previously (until 2009) Bay Ferries operated the route high-speed ferry The Cat. In 2010-2014, the Maine-Nova Scotia ferry service was suspended.

The Maine-Nova Scotia shuttle service started on May 15, 2014 (maiden crossing Portland to Yarmouth), with expected traffic around 100,000 passengers. However, season 2014 was completed in October with just 59,000 passengers and the company owing suppliers over CAD 3 million. As a result, the US government spent the entire (7-year) subsidy in season 2014 alone, issuing additional CAD 7,5 million to Nova Star Cruises in October 2014. In 2015 were issued additional CAD 13 million.

During season 2015 (summer), the company targeted 110,000 passengers, but by season's carried just 52,000. Then NS government assigned bidding for new service operator and 4 companies submitted their bids. As the 2-year service (2014-2015) carried fewer than expected passengers, it cost NS’s taxpayers a total of CAD 41 million.

Nova Star Cruises' ferry service license was not renewed for 2016. The Gulf of Maine service was closed and changed to a new operator - Bay Ferries Ltd (Canadian shipping company, subsidiary of Northumberland Ferries Ltd). The USA-Canada route is now operated with high-speed ferries.

In 2016, ST Marine canceled its lease deal with Nova Star Cruises. The ship was moved to Europe (Mediterranean) and chartered by Inter Shipping.