The Nova Star ferry transported its first load of passengers from Portland to Yarmouth, docking in Nova Scotia shortly after 8 a.m. Friday.

The voyage ends a five-year drought for passenger service across the Gulf of Maine.

People gathered at Lobster Rock Wharf, which is next to the Yarmouth ferry terminal, to greet the Nova Star as it entered port with 300 passengers on the first crossing from Portland.

"This ferry’s reconnecting us to one of the largest tourism markets in the world and re-establishing a critical historic link between the province and New England," Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill said.

The ferry can handle 1,200 passengers and 300 cars. The company that operates the vessel says it hopes it will transport 100,000 passengers this season.

Earlier this week, the operator made big cuts to ticket prices to attract more passengers. They also announced children under the age of 18 can travel for free.