Hundreds of people celebrated the arrival of the new Yarmouth ferry Tuesday.

Pipes and drummers and politicians converged on the waterfront to greet the Nova Star vessel that will re-connect Nova Scotia to Maine.

Dozens of people, including lots of children, cheered as the ferry came into view. It has been making the long journey from Singapore to start the service next month.

“We are part of something special today,” said Nova Scotia Tourism Minister Michel Samson.

The ferry docked Tuesday. Locals will get on board for their first look Wednesday.

Businesses welcome new visitors

Sandy Dennis was happy to see the Yarmouth ferry back.

Sandy Dennis was happy to see the Yarmouth ferry back. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

Sandy Dennis runs Sandy's Gifts in Yarmouth. She's been in business for 22 years and says the last few have been hard. 

"The economy hasn't been great the last few years since we lost the ferry, but now that we have a new ferry I see a brighter future for Yarmouth," she said. 

Dennis said she was excited to see it sail into port. "We've been waiting for it for so long. We have to work hard and make our community look great and welcome all the visitors," she said.

Dennis said the ferry will bring people to town, and that will bring jobs and increased business. "It's great for Yarmouth and all of Nova Scotia."

Provincial funding for the service was cut in 2009 and the ferry stopped. Many shops, bed and breakfasts and hotels closed. 

The ferry is scheduled to begin making daily, round-trip crossings between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine on May 15.

The provincial government has committed $21 million over seven years to support the ferry service. The daily 10-hour crossing could bring 1,200 passengers to the town with each run.