Visitors to Niagara Falls will soon be able to explore the attraction in a sustainable way onboard all-electric catamaran-style vessels. Maid of the Mist is set to introduce the first zero-emission passenger sightseeing boats later this year which will provide visitors with a smooth and quiet means to explore the power of Niagara Falls.
Tech company ABB 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. 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% capacity, allowing for maximum efficiency and battery life.
The boats are being built by the Burger Boat Company in Wisconsin and will be transported this month to Maid of the Mist’s dry dock at Niagara Falls for final assembly.
Maid of the Mist has been navigating the waters of the Lower Niagara River since 1846. The new vessels will see Maid of the Mist VI (1990) and Maid of the Mist VII (1997) removed from service when they begin operation in September 2019.
“The Maid of the Mist has been a tremendous partner at Niagara Falls State Park. These new vessels [deliver] 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,” said New York State Park’s Acting Commissioner, Erik Kulleseid.
Maid of the Mist attracts more than 1.6 million guests each season.