Nearly 175 years after the first steamboat was launched into the water, the Maid of the Mist is to go electric in 2020.
May 27th, 1846 was when the very first Maid of the Mist vessel was introduced, and the boats have ferried millions of people from the Lower Niagara River to the base of the Falls and back since then. It is North America’s oldest tourist attraction, and by mid-September 2020, the first two all-electric, zero-emission passenger vessels will be launched into the water. Since 1955 when the Maid of the Mist I was introduced, the vessels were made of steel and powered by diesel engines.
Footage from a successful test run on Monday, December 16th, 2019:
While the Hornblower Niagara Cruises will continue to operate on the Canadian side, these new vessels designed by Propulsion Data Services and under construction by Burger Boat Company based out of Manitowoc, Wisc. will certainly bring Western New York State new tourists, as well as continuing to draw in locals.
Riders will welcome the smooth and silent ride in order to better appreciate the sound of the roaring Niagara Falls. The passenger vessels will be powered by high-capacity battery packs with an onshore charging system. The zero-emission boats will complement efforts to build a more environmentally friendly tourist destination to the Falls.
The Maid of the Mist VI and Maid of the Mist VII will be removed for service completely after the new vessels begin operating.
For more information on the new vessels as well as on the history over the years of the Maid of the Mist, read it here.