Discussions Under Way to Return Nova Scotia Ferry Service to Portland Harbor

Mayor Michael Brennan

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,249)

Discussions took place last week between Mayor Michael Brennan, City Manager Mark Rees and Nova Scotia officials about re-establishing ferry service between Yarmouth,  Nova Scotia and Portland.   After the meeting, the Nova Scotia officials toured two city port facilities, the Ocean Gateway International Marine Terminal and the International Marine Terminal, both capable of supporting a ferry and freight service between the two communities.

“Restoring the ferry service between ou two ports has been a priority for both communities and I am very encouraged by the steps my counterparts in Nova Scotia have taken to attract a stable ferry service that could serve our two countries for many years to come,” stated Mayor Brennan.  “Portland and Yarmouth have enjoyed a close relationship for generations and we have both benefitted from the economic and tourism oportunities associated with the ferry service.  I along with city and state officials will continue to support this initiative and will work closely with the governments of Yarmouth and Nova Scotia to see this service restored.”

Earlier  this month, the Province of Nova Scotia released a request for proposals (RFP) for a marine ferry operator to operate a commercially viable international cruise ferry service between Yarmouth and Portland.   The province has committed up to $21 milllion in financial assistance over seven years for this initiative.  The service’s focus will be primarily on seasonal tourism-related passengers and vehicle traffic.  However, freight services and extended operating seasons would be considered as supplements to the serivce.  Proposals are due by January 24, 2013.    For more detailed information on the RFP, visit http://www.gov.ns.ca/tenders/tenders/ns-tenders.aspx (RFP # 60145162).

Ferry service, The Cat, between the two locations ended in 2009.