The embattled Nova Star, seized on 30th October, was expected to sail for warmer waters at the end of November after a federal judge ordered the arrested cruise ferry be released from custody. U.S. Marshals seized the vessel because the operators owed millions of Dollars to companies who provided goods and services to Nova Star Cruises.
The ship was moved back to the ocean gateway Terminal from her anchorage to allow 70 slot machines to be returned to a gaming company. In total the debts owed amounted to almost $3 million, including $250,000 to the city of Portland. The latter had also filed a motion asking the judge to appoint National Maritime Services of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as the substitute custodian of the ship while the ship was in Portland.
The province of Nova Scotia had already announced that it would not renew its agreement with Nova Star Cruises to provide passenger ferry services from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The creditors were gradually being paid and the owners of the vessel, ST Marine in Singapore, were expected to regain control at the earliest opportunity so as to offer her for charter once more.