Late-summer tourists to Niagara Falls will be among the first to enjoy a ride on an electrified Maid of the Mist boat tour.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Maid of the Mist President Christopher M. Glynn announced that the boat tour will convert to two, all-electric, emission-free boats in September of 2019.
The Maid of the Mist has served the Lower Niagara River since 1846 and will now feature a smoother, quieter ride that is also better for the environment.
“The Maid of the Mist has offered tours of the world-famous Niagara Falls waterfalls and of the Niagara River Gorge for more than a century, and are a signature tourism attraction of Western New York,” said Governor Cuomo. “The new zero-emission boats will continue that proud tradition while continuing our efforts to make New York State a premier environmentally friendly tourism destination.”
The new boats are currently located at the Maid of the Mist dry dock and maintenance facility for assembly and following completion of their construction, launch and certification, the two new boards will be placed into service replacing Maid in the Mist VI and VII which went into operation in 1990 and 1997, respectively.
“It makes perfect sense for Maid of the Mist to be a world leader with the implementation of this green technology,” Glynn said. “The new vessels will carry our guests to the base of Niagara Falls, one of the world’s largest sources of clean hydroelectric power.”
ABB will supply the power and propulsion solution for the boats. The technology includes the batteries as well as onshore charging stations. The batteries will be able to recharge to 80 percent capacity in just seven minutes after each trip which will ensure that passengers are not delayed in departures. Each vessel is able to hold 520 passengers.
“The hull of the new vessels features an icon of the electricity symbol within a water droplet surrounded by a turbine with Niagara Falls in the background,” Glynn said. “The color scheme is environmentally-friendly green combined with the blue of the water.”