The slot machines are ready aboard the new Nova Star ferry, which is scheduled to make its maiden voyage Thursday.
The new Portland-to-Nova Scotia cruise ferry was officially inducted into service at a ceremony today in Portland. The Nova Star is expected to make its maiden 10-hour voyage tomorrow evening.
On board the ship for the event were Portland Mayor Michael Brennan and Yarmouth Nova Scotia Mayor Pam Mood, as well as Nova Scotia Cruises President Mark Amundsen. Amundsen says the company is attempting to reinvent the service.
"All children under the age of 18 will go for free the first year," he says. "And this is going to make it very family-centric and we're really excited about that - to get the families going back to Nova Scotia and back to Maine."
Amundsen says the company is also offering a 20 percent discount on fares booked before June 15.
Nova Star officials say the ferry's 2014 season will run from May until early November, sailing seven days a week. It can accommodate 1,200 passengers, and includes a casino, store, spa, dining room, conference room and more.
The Nova Star fills the gap left when the high-speed ferry, The Cat, closed five years ago.
This story was reported and written by Caroline Losneck.
Photo: Caroline Losneck