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Buffalo River History Tours logoFor Immediate Release:
August 12, 2016

Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | pamm.lent@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313
Laura Magee (ECHDC) | laura.magee@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313

ECHDC and Buffalo River History Tours Launch the New Harbor Queen Tour Boat
Boat will take passengers on historic tours of Buffalo’s waterfront

(see picture here)

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.

About Canalside
Canalside is a growing regional destination and entertainment district, situated on 21 historic acres along downtown Buffalo’s emerging waterfront on the Buffalo River. Canalside earns its name from its storied past, when the Erie Canal Harbor was built in 1825 as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. Until six years ago, the land was barren and inaccessible, but the area has been reclaimed by the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and developed with public and private investment. With more than 1,000 yearly events, Canalside is fast becoming the go-to place for in- and out-of-towners of all ages to learn, play and relax. For more information, visit www.canalsidebuffalo.com.

About Outer Harbor
Buffalo’s Outer Harbor is where the natural beauty of Lake Erie meets the hum and buzz of downtown Buffalo. The Outer Harbor hosts large events and daily activities of all types and strives to provide public access to the land and waterways on the Lake Erie shoreline. Operated by the Outer Harbor Management Group, part of Be Our Guest, LTD, a subsidiary of Rich Products, the Outer Harbor is open for business and is the new jewel of the ongoing resurgence happening in Buffalo. For more information, visit www.outerharborbuffalo.com.