[UPDATED] Nova Star to offer tours May 10 (sensible footwear not required)

Operators of the ferry/cruise ship that will start service between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia May 15 announced they will open the vessel to public tours Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dockworkers watch the Nova Star approach the Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland on April 17, 2014. Troy R. Bennett | BDN.

Nova Star Cruises originally said it would not host tours in Portland or during stops in Portsmouth and Boston before the ship begins its regular service.

The 1,200-passenger ship arrived in Portland April 17, docked at the city’s Ocean Gateway Terminal.

Before docking here, the ship built in Singapore stopped in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where the public was able to tour the ship. Dennis Bailey, a spokesman for the company, told me after the ship’s arrival that the company decided to do tours there largely because it’s the province’s tax dollars that are helping to restart the service. The province is giving the company $21 million over seven years.

Importantly, the company notes in a press release about the tours issued last week:

For safety, you must wear flat-soled shoes – absolutely no high heels – as the walkway or deck surfaces may be uneven and slippery.

Updated, May 6: Bailey said in an email that the ramp to the ship was fixed this week — so, the new message to heel-wearers Saturday (from Bailey):

The original ramp was a grate, so heels were out. But people can kick up their heels now.

The 528-foot ship includes three restaurants, a casino, spa and other venues it seems are very well-suited to wearing high heels. But for that luxury, I guess cruise-goers will have to wait.

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.