For Immediate Release:
ECHDC and Buffalo River History Tours Launch
the New Harbor Queen Tour Boat
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) announced the christening today of the Harbor Queen, a new double-decker tour boat docked at Canalside. The newly built, multi-hulled boat is the latest to be added to the fleet of Buffalo River History Tours and will carry passengers on daily informative 90 minute narrated tours of Buffalo’s waterfront.
“History is at the heart of Canalside so we are pleased to have a new enjoyable way for people to learn about Buffalo’s fascinating past,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “The addition of the Harbor Queen also frees up the other tour boat to help out with the bike ferry service to the Outer Harbor when needed. Governor Cuomo has provided the leadership needed to capitalize on Buffalo’s extraordinary waterfront and the new boat gives Western New Yorkers yet another way to experience our greatest natural asset.”
Following today’s christening by Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, the boat welcomed passengers for its first tour.
"The addition of a new cruise boat on the Buffalo River highlights the great success of Canalside and the renaissance of our city's historic harbor. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership and the vision of entrepreneurs like the Hillimans, this is once again a dynamic, world-class waterfront. It's appropriate that we christen the Harbor Queen at the point where the Erie Canal once had its terminus, an intersection of waterways that kicked off Buffalo's early growth and national prominence. It's the right place to celebrate the arrival of the Harbor Queen.” The Harbor Queen, which was built in Florida this past winter, is a custom design vessel that is 63 feet long and 24 feet wide with two outboard engines. The top speed of the vessel is around 28 knots. The ferry can carry up to 149 passengers, triple the capacity of the other tour boat in Buffalo River History Tour’s fleet.
Passengers will board the ferry from the dock on the Central Wharf at Canalside. They will then enjoy an hour and a half narrated tour that allows riders to see the historic landmarks, including the grain elevators, up close and learn more about the waterway system that made Buffalo one of the most populated and prosperous cities in the country at the turn of the last century. The tours also provide excellent views of the skyline and interesting information about the shipping that still occurs on the river.
The Harbor Queen is operated by the Hilliman family. It joins the Hilliman’s fleet of boats that include the Spirit of Buffalo sailing ship, the River Queen, and the Queen City Bike Ferry.
“The Buffalo tour boat business is booming,” said Captain Rich Hilliman of Buffalo History River Tours. “Our tours are often sold out because people are anxious to be on the water and learn about Buffalo from an angle that they’ve likely never seen before. We look forward to welcoming new visitors and our return customers on board.”
Tickets can be purchased online at buffaloriverhistorytours.com or from the kiosk on the Central Wharf at Canalside.
For more information on the Harbor Queen and other exciting activities at Canalside, please visit www.canalsidebuffalo.com.
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