Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Maid of the Mist, which has been navigating the waters of the Lower Niagara River since 1846, is preparing to launch the first two new all-electric, zero-emission passenger vessels constructed in the United States. Later this year, the catamaran-style vessels will provide more than 1.6 million guests from around the world with an up-close, iconic view of Niagara Falls. The vessels feature a wide stance, resulting in a smooth, quiet ride, allowing them to better enjoy the roar and majesty of Niagara Falls.
“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.”
At the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, Maid of the Mist President Christopher M. Glynn was joined for the unveiling of the new vessels by New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathleen C. Hochul, New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid, Congressman Brian Higgins, New York State Senator Rob Ortt, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and other local and state tourism officials.
“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.”
Designed by Propulsion Data Systems, the new totally integrated vessels are currently under construction by Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc, Wisc. In mid-May, the modules will be transported to Niagara Falls and lowered onto the Maid of the Mist dry dock and maintenance facility for assembly. Following completion of construction, launch and certification, the new vessels will be placed into service in mid-September.
Maid of the Mist VI (1990) and Maid of the Mist VII (1997), will be removed from service when the new vessels begin operating.
ABB, a pioneering technology leader in digital industries, will supply a comprehensive integrated power and propulsion solution for the newbuild vessels, including lithium-ion battery packs and an onshore charging system, enabling sustainable operation with maximum reliability.
Powered by ABB’s zero-emission technology, the two fully-electric vessels will take tourists to the heart of the Niagara Falls, undisturbed by engine noise or exhaust fumes. Batteries will be recharged for seven minutes after each trip to 80 percent capacity, allowing for maximum efficiency and battery life.
New York State Parks Acting Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The Maid of the Mist has been a tremendous partner at Niagara Falls State Park. These new vessels delivering a superior visitor experience while expanding the sustainable practices we need to adapt to protect the natural assets that draw visitors to Niagara Falls and parks across the state.”
“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.”
Maid of the Mist first launched in 1846, making it one of North America’s longest running tourist attractions. Maid of the Mist vessels have been continuously operating tours to the base of Niagara Falls for 134 consecutive years, providing guests from around the world with an iconic experience, traveling to the base of Niagara Falls. James V. Glynn joined Maid of the Mist in 1950 as a ticket seller and purchased the company in 1971. Under his leadership and that of current president Christopher M. Glynn, Maid of the Mist has expanded operations, now attracting more than 1.6 million guests each season.