PORTLAND (AP) — Nova Scotia is continuing discussions with a ferry operator but so far there’s no contract for service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Portland, Maine, for the upcoming season.

During its inaugural season, Nova Star Cruises spent $21 million that the Canadian government promised over seven years and then needed another $5 million to pay its bills. The first season was a disappointment with only 59,000 passengers, far short of the goal of 100,000 passengers.

A rival group has proposed taking over the ferry route with a smaller vessel.

But Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson told reporters last week that the department isn’t dealing with other potential operators.

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