ALBANY — A Niagara Falls classic is going green.
The Maid of the Mist tour company is launching two new all-electric vessels that will ferry tourists below the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls, Gov. Cuomo announced on Friday.Text Content Here
“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,” Cuomo said. “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 catamaran-style boats will be completely eco-friendly and feature a wider stance, resulting in a smooth, quiet ride, free of engine noise or exhaust fumes.
The two new zero-emission ships are currently under construction by Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc, Wis.
By the middle of May, the parts will be transported to Niagara Falls and lowered onto the Maid of the Mist dry dock and maintenance facility for assembly. The vessels should be ready to take to the water by September.
ABB, a digital technology company, will supply an integrated power and propulsion system for the boats, including lithium ion battery packs and an onshore charging system. The batteries will be recharged for seven minutes after each trip to 80% capacity, allowing for maximum efficiency and battery life, according to an official release.
The sleek, green-and-blue boats will feature an icon on their hulls that features an electricity symbol within a water droplet surrounded by a turbine with Niagara Falls in the background.
A pair of diesel boats, Maid of the Mist VI and Maid of the Mist VII, will be removed from service when the new eco-friendly vessels begin operating.
“It makes perfect sense for Maid of the Mist to be a world leader with the implementation of this green technology,” said Maid of the Mist president Christopher Glynn. “The new vessels will carry our guests to the base of Niagara Falls, one of the world’s largest sources of clean hydroelectric power.”
The Maid of the Mist has been navigating the waters of the lower Niagara River since 1846, first with a twin-stack sidewheel steamboat. Diesel-powered boats have shepherded awestruck visitors below the roaring falls since 1955.
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