Cost of Yarmouth ferry could be too much for some travellers

The new Nova Star ferry from Yarmouth to Portland, Maine, has some Nova Scotians concerned about the price.

Yarmouth to Portland ferry marketed as cruise with accomodations, dining and entertainment

People wanting to ride the Yarmouth-Portland ferry are starting to get an idea of the cost. 0:58

The new Nova Star ferry between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth is being marketed as a cruise more than a ferry, offering accommodations, dining and entertainment on board.

CBC News estimates a four person family with a vehicle and pet and cabin for the overnight trip, will tally up a bill of about $1,605.

Sample return trip cost breakdown of Yarmouth ferry
2 adults$556
2 children (over 5 years old)$256
Compact car fee$398
Kennel fee for pet$98
Cabin for overnight return trip$99
Departure fee$26
Arrival fee$26
Amenities fee per person$16
TOTAL in U.S. dollars$1,475
TOTAL in Canadian dollars$1,605

Wayne Dombroski in Berwick said for him and his partner, the trip would cost $500 one way. The same ferry package between North Sydney and Newfoundland is exactly one third the price.

"I can drive those extra four or five hours," he said. "I can spend that many many more ways on a holiday."

Travel consultant Bob Sime said there is a market for those interested in a cruise experience like Nova Star with its three restaurants, a free gym, and casino.

He said Nova Star Cruises is banking on Atlantic Canadians using the ferry as much as Americans, but some families may not care to spend $1,600 on a ferry crossing.

"You can do a lot with that by boarding a plane in any one of the major markets and flying north, south, east or west," he said.

The Nova Star arrives in Yarmouth to begin service in less than two weeks.