Tag: tour boats

    Fireworks and cocktail cruises: A whole new way to see Niagara Falls

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    From the Globe and Mail:

    For the first time in more than a century, tour boats not named Maid of the Mist are sailing from the Canadian side to the frothy foot of the country’s most famous cascade.

    But old habits die hard. Several locals don’t miss a beat when asked for directions to the Maid of the Mist, even though they all know about Hornblower Canada Co.’s new 700-passenger catamarans, Niagara Thunder and Niagara Wonder.

    Unclear Future for Mainstay of Niagara Mist

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    From the New York Times:

    The Maid of the Mist tour boats have plied the roiling waters of the Niagara Gorge since the 1840s, taking tens of millions of visitors, including the future King Edward VII (1860), Marilyn Monroe (1952) and Mikhail Gorbachev (1983), past the American Falls to the base of the Horseshoe Falls, whose staggering height and swirling mist feel almost biblical.

    “It’s like ‘The Ten Commandments,’ ” shouted a drenched Gargeyi Baipa, a recent passenger from India on one of the boats, referring to the 1956 film that depicted the Exodus.

    Now, the Maid of the Mist Corporation, a small fleet owned and operated by a local family for the past 41 years, finds itself confronting its own possible exodus.

    Maid of the Mist to return in 2012

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    From Niagara This Week:

    The Maid of the Mist will return to the water for the 2012 season on both sides of the Niagara River Gorge the company that runs the boat tours said Tuesday.

    The Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company said it would continue with the service in 2012 after talks with the Niagara Parks Commission regarding operational issues.

    The boat tours that ferry visitors to the foot of the Horseshoe falls from docks on both sides of the Niagara River were in jeopardy for 2012 after the NPC awarded a 30-year-lease for the services to Hornblower Canada, the Canadian arm of San Francisco-based Hornblower Cruises and Events.

    In a brief news release, Maid of the Mist said tour boats will go into the water on April 12 — three weeks ahead of last year, due to unseasonably warm temperatures and ice-free conditions on Lake Erie and the Niagara River.

    News regarding the Maid of the Mist

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    I’ve waited for the “dust to settle” before posting more about the Maid of the Mist. There were lots of articles posted, but as usual, other than the local sites they were mostly Associated Press or Canadian Press articles. Here are a selection of good articles:

    Niagara Parks opens river boat bidding

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    From Buffalo Business First (the Niagara Falls Review also has a different article):

    Want to operate a tour boat from the Canadian shores of the lower Niagara River?

    Then, the Niagara Parks Commission wants to hear from you and your company.

    The parks commission, Friday afternoon, set a Nov. 24 deadline for any company to bid on tour boat operations. The Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. has been running tour boats from both the U.S. and Canadian shores of the lower Niagara River for generations and while its U.S. pact runs for more than three decades, it’s Canadian lease has been under fire for the past year.

    Ontario nearly ready for tenders on Maid of the Mist tour boats in Niagara Falls

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    From the Canadian Press (via Penticton Herald):

    Getting competitive bids for one of the world’s oldest and most famous tourist attractions – the Maid of the Mist boats in Niagara Falls – may not be as straight forward a proposal as the Ontario government hopes.

    The Niagara Parks Commission came under fire last year for giving the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company an untendered, 25-year renewal on the contract to operate the boats that ferry tourists from both sides of the international border up to the thundering waterfalls.

    The commission’s timing couldn’t have been worse politically. The Liberal government was under siege because of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of untendered contracts given out by one of its agencies, eHealth Ontario.

    The province told the parks commission to review the decision to not to seek competitive bids, but the commission upheld the deal a second time. The government then cancelled the contract and ordered the NPC to put it out for tenders, a move that caught Maid of the Mist owner and existing lease-holder Chris Glynn off guard.

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