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the tip

Brand-new ride on Nova Scotia route

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Andrew Vaughan

If Canada is calling to you this summer, you’re in luck: Starting on May 15, the Nova Star, a brand-spanking-new 528-foot ferry, leaves from Portland, Maine, on a 10-hour cruise to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. You can walk on and walk off, or take your car, your pet, your kids, your motorcycle, your bike — or all of the above.

The ferry features a full-service spa; live entertainment; a casino; a wide choice of dining options from upscale (with fine wines) to a buffet (serving regional specialties and home-cooked food) to pub fare that includes gourmet coffees, pastries, and sandwiches. Other amenities include a piano bar lounge; two bars; a gym free to any passenger over age 16; an art gallery; a kids’ zone with climbing structures, movies and board games; and even a smoking lounge (the ship and cabins are smoke-free).

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You can choose to cruise in an oversized recliner, which is like a business-class seat on a plane, or book one of the 162 private cabins. Each of the latter can accommodate up to four passengers, and has a private bathroom and shower.

Depending on the season, an adult ticket is $79-$139; children under 5 free. Round-trip tickets are 10 percent off. And for Fifi and Fido, the cost is $29-$49, but kennel space is limited.

Depending on size, cars cost $139- $199. Cabins are $79-$249. A bike is $16-$22. And there are port fees per person and vehicle.

For more information, go to www.novastarcruises.com.

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