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Luxury Cruise Ship Gives Truckers’ Rest Period New Meaning

PORTLAND, ME — Luxury ferry Nova Star will restore service to the 130-year-old passenger route between Portland and Nova Scotia and it’s all because of truckers seeking respite, Nova Star Cruises Ltd. announced.

“Seldom do you get a chance to put a business plan together that benefits so many different people, whether it be people in Nova Scotia, improving their economy, or it be the trucking industry, or it be people in Maine,” Mark Amundsen, the chief executive of Nova Star Cruises Ltd told the Boston Globe. 

The passage was last served five years ago by a high-speed catamaran that completed the voyage in about six hours. Service stopped in 2009 after the government of Nova Scotia stopped subsidizing it.

But Amundsen, a Maine Maritime Academy grad and shipping industry veteran saw an opportunity to revive service on the passage because of the needs of long-haul truckers.

Instead of stopping at a truck stop for the night, truckers can drive onto the ship, sleep through the 10-hour voyage and wake up in Nova Scotia ready to hit the pavement, which saves them the nine to 12 hour drive.

According to the Boston Globe, Amundsen sought out contracts with trucking companies, emphasizing the advantage of the built-in rest period — an endeavor that could bring in more than $6 million a year. He also decided it would be more profitable to sail as a luxury cruise ship with cabins, a casino, three restaurants, a piano bar and two spas, similar to the Scotia Prince, which sailed the route from 1982 to 2004.

The Nova Star makes its maiden voyage on Thursday, May, 15, 2014 and will run daily from May to November.

Read the full story here. 

 
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