Maid of the Mist boats lowered into the river

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – A long-time tradition in Niagara Falls is preparing to set sail for the season.

A crane carefully lowered the Maid of the Mist tour boats into the Lower Niagara River on Tuesday. Crews had to wait for the ice boom to be removed before the boats could enter the water.

Kevin Keenan, spokesman for the company, said there will be an announcement in the coming days of when the boats will set sail.

“There are a number of checks that we have to make to make sure everything is ready to go. But we will announce the state of the 2014 season probably within the next couple of days,” he said.

The Maid of the Mist has been in operation since 1846, but for the first time, there will be competition on the water. Hornblower is also preparing to launch its own tour boats from the Canadian side.

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