A Canadian newspaper is reporting that the contractor handling this year’s ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, has found a ship to replace the failed Nova Star.

The replacement ship is the USNS Puerto Rico, a ship two-thirds the size and nearly twice as fast as the Nova Star, the newspaper reported.

Citing anonymous sources, The Chronicle Herald of Halifax, Nova Scotia, reported Sunday that the replacement operator for Nova Star Cruises, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island-based Bay Ferries Ltd., has selected the U.S.-built Puerto Rico and is preparing to announce the news soon.

The Puerto Rico is 349 feet long, considerably smaller than the 528-foot-long Nova Star. Its maximum speed is 40 miles per hour, compared with the Nova Star’s maximum speed of 24.6 miles per hour. The Puerto Rico is a catamaran built in 2007 by Austal USA for $88 million that originally was used as a high-speed ferry among the islands of Hawaii. Its current owner is listed as the U.S. Maritime Administration. It can carry up to 866 passengers and 282 cars.

After two years of disappointing passenger totals and revenue, the Nova Scotia government chose not to renew Nova Star Cruises’ contract for 2016.

This story will be updated.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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