Nova Star Cruises reported lower passenger numbers for September than the same month last year, continuing a disappointing season.

The operator of the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia-to-Portland route said it ferried 10,212 passengers during the month, down from the 11,135 passengers it ferried last year.

Contributing to the decline is a significant drop in the number of Canadians using the service. According to Nova Star Cruise’s website, Canadian passengers were down 40 percent year to date over 2014.

“The drop in the Canadian dollar continues to affect Canadian passengers,” reported the website.

In September 2014 one Canadian dollar equaled roughly 89 cents U.S. In September of this year, it was worth 75 cents.

U.S.-only passengers were up just over 7 percent for the year, but they weren’t enough to offset the drop in Canadian business. Overall, the service’s 48,012 passengers in 2015 reflect a 6.7 percent decline over last year. Nova Star officials had hoped to surpass 80,000 passengers in 2015.


The company also announced it was canceling voyages scheduled for Saturday because of expected bad weather.

Mark Amundsen, company president and CEO, cited weather and tidal conditions as the reason for the cancellations in a release.

“The forecast is for high winds tomorrow morning in Yarmouth, which, combined with extreme low tides at our scheduled arrival time, could make it very challenging to navigate the waters of Yarmouth, and leave very little margin for error,” said Amundsen. “The last thing we want to do is cancel, but the safety of our guests is our number one concern, and we think this is the prudent decision.”

Affected passengers can make alternate reservations, or get a full refund.

Nova Star Cruises is one of four companies that have submitted bids to the Nova Scotia Ministry of Transportation to continue the service in 2016.

The provincial government, which has subsidized the 2-year-old service with $39 million, wants to consider a more efficient operation. The service is considered essential to the province’s tourism industry.

Government officials said it will be several weeks before they make a decision about the 2016 contract. The bids are under review.

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