|Bay Ferries' Cat to Operate Between Yarmouth, NS and Portland, ME|
After being employed/laid-up by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command for the past few years, the former Hawaii Superferry Alakai has returned to civilian life. The high speed CAT type vessel will be operating as a passenger/vehicle ferry for Bay Ferries between Portland, ME and Yarmouth, NS. The vessel will be re-named "The Cat," reviving the name of a ship that Bay Ferries previously used on the route. Bay Ferries operated this route until 2009.
This vessel is one of two high speed catamarans built for Hawaii Superferry by shipbuilder Austal USA and delivered in 2007. Hawaii Superferry subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with debts that included $135.8 million owed MARAD which had provided construction financing guarantees. In the bankruptcy auction that ensued, MARAD bought both vessels.
Under the current agreement with Bay Ferries Limited, Bay Ferries will manage and operate a high-speed ferry between Yarmouth and Portland for the next 10-years. It is unclear how this impacts Nova Star Cruises which operated their ship the Nova Star the past 2 years seasons on the same route. A message on the Nova Star Cruises website states………
“The Province of Nova Scotia has announced that our contract to provide the ferry service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine will not be renewed for the 2016 season. We would like to thank the people of Nova Scotia, our valued employees, our tourism partners, suppliers and, most of all, our customers who enjoyed sailing on Nova Star during the last two operating seasons. We sincerely appreciate your support.
Nova Star Cruises Ltd.”