Tours begin Friday, June 26
Since 1846 and continuously since 1885, Maid of the Mist vessels powered by steam and diesel engines have carried millions of passengers to the base of Niagara Falls for an iconic, up-close view of one of the wonders of the world.
The first days of the 2020 season will be no different, with the venerable Maid of the Mist VII providing roundtrip tours to the falls. Later this season, two new all-electric, emission-free Maid of the Mist vessels are expected to be placed into service, marking the advent of a new era for one of North America’s longest-running tourist attractions.
The James V. Glynn and Nikola Tesla are currently in the water, going through a rigorous U.S. Coast Guard approval process.
The 2020 season, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to begin Friday, June 26, with reduced operating hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; departures will be every 30 minutes.
“In order to provide safety for our associates and guests, all tours will operate at 50% capacity,” said Maid of the Mist President Christopher M. Glynn. “Our team developed a Maid of the Mist density reduction plan, which is extensive in its approach to safety. The plan was submitted to and approved by the state.”
The plan also includes:
√ All visitors will be required to wear a face covering as a condition of admission.
√ Only one party at a time will be permitted to approach each of the ticket booths. Hand sanitizer will be available for visitors as they arrive.
√ Countertops and credit card keypads will be sanitized after each transaction.
√ Elevators to and from the Observation Deck to the landing will operate at 50% capacity, limited to nine individuals at a time
√ All hand railings and visitor touch points will be sanitized on a regular basis.
√ Orderly queuing will be required to include guests being 6 feet apart unless they are with household members.
√ Guests will be reminded about social distancing when they board the vessel.
√ Distance markers will be placed throughout the facility.
The mighty Maid of the Mist. (Images courtesy of Keenan Communications Group)
Maid of the Mist associates will be provided with PPE at no cost; the company will also implement mandatory health screening assessments (questionnaire and temperature check) before associates begin work each day. The opening of the Maid of the Mist store will be delayed.
In 1846, Maid of the Mist I, a side-steamboat ferry with twin smokestacks, ferried stagecoaches and horses across the Niagara River. In 1848, construction of a suspension bridge curtailed business and Maid of the Mist was rebranded as a sightseeing adventure. A combination of factors led to the suspension of service from 1861 until June 13, 1885, when a new Maid of the Mist boat ventured closer to the Horseshoe Falls than any boat ever had. Service has continued non-stop for 135 consecutive seasons.
Adult tickets are $22.25; child ticket (6-12 years) $13; children ages 5 and under are free with accompanying adult. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online at https://store.maidofthemist.com.
“New York Forward” states this type of business can operate in phase three, which is where Western New York is right now.