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Nova Star ribbon-cutting in Portland, Maine, before 1st voyage to Nova Scotia

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PORTLAND, Maine - The operator of the Nova Star ferry has cut its early booking rates before its inaugural run between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, N.S.

The 160-metre cruise ferry was christened in Boston on Monday and there'll be a ribbon-cutting Wednesday in Portland.

Its first trip is Thursday.

The ferry's rates have raised some eyebrows, with tickets reaching US$1,000 for two people with a car at high season.

But operators say early bookings will be discounted 20 per cent.

Other discounts could reduce the fare for a family of four by 45 per cent.

The car ferry will make daily roundtrips to Nova Scotia and is expected to accommodate 1,200 passengers.

It fills a void created in 2009 by the end of service of The Cat, a high-speed ferry.

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