- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

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

The 528-foot cruise ferry was christened in Boston on Monday and there’ll be a ribbon-cutting Wednesday in Portland. The first trip is Thursday.

The ferry’s rates have raised some eyebrows, with tickets reaching $1,000 for two people with a car at high season. But operators announced Tuesday that early bookings will be discounted 20 percent. Other discounts could reduce the fare for a family of four by 45 percent.

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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