The Maid of the Mist has been offering boat tours of Niagara Falls since 1846, and now it’s about to launch “the first two” all-electric, emissions-free, catamaran-style passenger vessels that were constructed in the U.S., according to the boat tour agency. It also nixes the loud engine noises and exhaust fumes for a quieter and healthier tour experience.
“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,” says Governor Andrew M. 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.”
Maid of the Mist President Christopher M. Glynn adds, “It makes perfect sense for Maid of the Mist to be a world leader with the implementation of this green technology. The new vessels will carry our guests to the base of Niagara Falls, one of the world’s largest sources of clean hydroelectric power.”
Propulsion Data Services (PDS) was responsible for the vessels’ design, while construction is delegated to the Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc, Wisc. The integrated power and propulsion system will be supplied by ABB, which includes lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs and an onshore charging system. ABB will also supply the zero-emission technology.
According to Maid of the Mist, “Batteries will be recharged for seven minutes after each trip to 80 percent capacity, allowing for maximum efficiency and battery life.”
The modules will make their way to Niagara Falls in May, where certification awaits. Operations are set to begin sometime in September.