Portland and Yarmouth are 207 miles apart by sea and about 750 miles apart by road. Tourism destinations in Maine and southwestern Nova Scotia are expected to greatly benefit from the program.
It has been three years since The Cat, a high-speed ferry, linked the destinations which, before that, were served by Scotia Prince from 1982 to 2004.
Built in Singapore, Nova Star is scheduled to be named May 12 in Boston. The vessel has 162 cabins, two restaurants and maximum capacity for 1,215 passengers.
As earlier reported, Bob Leeman, Portland's cruise marketing manager, said the city had addressed US Customs and Border Protection concerns that there be no cross-contamination of passengers at Ocean Gateway Terminal, which also serves cruise ships. Starting months ago he met with cruise lines in South Florida to address any concerns.