Boston and Halifax areas have
shared histories
The annual giant Christmas tree sent by Nova Scotia to Boston is a
message of thanks for the timely help sent to Halifax after a devastating
1917 ship explosion.  This is but one tie, as the relations between New
England and Nova Scotia go deep, back to before the American
Revolution when both regions were British colonies.  Trade was common
as indicated by the fact that Boston interests participated in the
founding of Halifax in 1749.  Immediately following the Revolution,
many British loyalists moved north into Nova Scotia and other parts of
Canada.  Many New Englanders are of eastern Canadian descent, due to
considerable emigration to the "Boston states" in the 1900's.
Tall ship in Halifax Harbor in 2000
Over the years, trade grew between the two regions, notably in fish and produce.  As noted above, great  
humanitarian aid was sent by Boston to Halifax after the catastrophic explosion resulting from the collision of
two ships in 1917, during World War I.  In recent years, Nova Scotia developed offshore sources of natural gas
which help provide such gas to Boston via pipeline.  
Statistics show ferry potential
Recent indicators on travel between New England and Nova
Scotia show a decrease, probably due to increased fuel costs,
security concerns, and, as a specific event, the 2005
discontinuance of the "Scotia Prince" ferry between
Portland, ME and Yarmouth, NS.  This is considered
temporary in view of historical use and future potential.  

As a more "normal" base, the Nova Scotia Statistical
Review and related documents provide useful 2004 data on
many social and economic topics.  The number of tourists
(non-resident persons) per year is over 2 million, meaning
that person trips (travel to & from) number over 4 million.  
Of this 15%, or over 600,000, originate in the United
States.  This number of trips do not include person trips to the United States made by non-tourists (NS residents).  It
would not be unreasonable to consider that the
total annual person trips between USA and Nova Scotia totals almost
1 million.  The data indicate that the means of travel are 77% by road and 23% by air.  Ferries are included under
road travel.  (see
The Boston-Halifax ferry, as a new year round transportation opportunity with direct connections to the regional
centers, can be expected to generate at least as many new customers as may be diverted from existing travel
modes.  The chiefly overnight trip also provides a more efficient use of time.  Preliminary economic analysis
indicate that the planned ferry could expect at least 200,000 annual passengers with companion car and truck
components to achieve basic success.
Representative Travel Data of NS visitors
2004 ferry statistics show that in the 6-month annual operating season, the Maine to Yarmouth ferries carry
about 262,000 persons ("Scotia Prince" and the "CAT"), including both NS residents and non-residents.  This
does not include the St. John-Digby ferry which also likely carries persons to/from the States.  These ferries all
travel between ports which do not directly serve the core centers of New England and Nova Scotia, which the
Boston-Halifax cruise ferry will do.  The scale of 200,000 annual passengers for the
year-round Boston-Halifax
service appears modest in comparison.  

Boston-Halifax Overnight Cruise Ferry Service
American Ferries Incorporated