Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that two new all-electric, zero-emission Maid of the Mist passenger vessels will be launched later this year. The catamaran-style vessels, designed by Propulsion Data Systems, are currently under construction by Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc, Wisc. According to Cuomo, these new totally integrated vessels will service the 1.6 million guests from around the world, in a much cleaner way, thus demonstrating his continued commitment to creating a greener NY State.
“Maid of the Mist tours of the world-famous Niagara Falls waterfalls and of the Niagara River Gorge are a signature tourism attraction of Western New York,” said Governor Cuomo.“The new zero-emission boats will continue that proud tradition, while enhancing our efforts to make New York State a premier environmentally friendly tourism destination.”
The two vessels, will utilize a power and propulsion solution by ABB, that will result in significant noise reduction, with no exhaust fumes. The system includes lithium ion battery packs and an onshore charging system.
“The Maid of the Mist is one of the most iconic parts of the tourism experience here in New York and around the world,”said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today’s announcement. “For generations, people from all walks of life have been able to get an up-close look at the majesty of Niagara Falls thanks to the historic Maid of the Mist attraction. Today, we are advancing it into the next century with a new fleet of all-electric vessels, which will transport visitors while protecting the health of our waterways and environment.”
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.
This latest investment into the vessels is considered another big boost for Niagara Falls – the project piggybacks on a $70 million revitalization of Niagara Falls State Park that includes renewing the park’s major viewing areas – Luna Island, Prospect Point, Lower Grove, Three Sisters Islands, North Shoreline Trail, Luna Bridge, and Terrapin Point – with new pedestrian walkways, enhanced landscaping, new benches, light posts, and railings.
“It makes perfect sense for Maid of the Mist to be a world leader with the implementation of this green technology,” Maid of the Mist President Christopher M. 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.”
The first signs of the new vessels will be in mid-May, when the various components will be delivered to the Maid of the Mist dry dock and maintenance facility for assembly. If all goes according to plan, the vessels will be put 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.
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 adopt to protect the natural assets that draw visitors to Niagara Falls and parks across the state.”
Gil C. Quiniones, President and Chief Executive Officer at the New York Power Authority, said, “New York is leading the way in the transition to an electric transportation system. The Maid of the Mist’s conversion to an all-electric fleet is a bold move that shows the world we take our commitment to lowering carbon emissions seriously. The Niagara Power Project has been a long time partner to the Maid the Mist and we are pleased to support the Maid going electric and making our environment cleaner and greener with every trip.”
Congressman Brian Higgins said, “For over 170 years the Maid of the Mist has taken visitors from across the globe on an up close and personal journey at the base of the mighty Niagara Falls for an experience like none other. In the early days it was by steamboat. The announcement of new electric boats is a fitting natural progression for this popular destination, known for its innovation in producing clean hydroelectricity.”
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, “I am thrilled to join our partners in State Parks and the Maid of the Mist to usher in another exciting season this year with a cleaner, greener fleet. These environmentally-friendly additions to the Maid family will help to provide the same visitor experience for which the Maid is world-renowned in a more sustainable manner for many years to come.”