Nova Scotia's Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage says he wants a full review of the Bluenose II restoration project, which is now at least two years behind schedule.

Tony Ince made the announcement on Thursday after revealing the $16-million project has been hit with another delay.

Ince had said the famed schooner would start sea trials this month, but he now said that won't happen until some time in the new year.

The minister said he doesn't know what is holding up the project and said the ongoing dockside tests in Lunenburg have been complex.

"We are looking at all the safety issues in terms of making sure that this vessel is safe for Nova Scotians to travel on," Ince told reporters.

"It has to meet all those international standards so it's just precautionary, just to make sure that everything is up to standard."

Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador was supposed to return to regular sailing in the summer of 2012 after an extensive two-year rebuild, but that deadline has been put off until next summer.