If you've ever visited Niagara Fall then chances are you're familiar with this scene: groups of people -- some dry, others soaked, but all dressed in blue plastic -- disembarking from a boat. Behind them, a lineup of more blue men, women and children, ready to hop aboard.
That's no longer the case.
After 165 years of of services and countless boatloads of tourists, the Maid of the Mist sailed its final voyage on Thursday. The popular tourist attraction has now shut down and will be replaced in 2014 by a new tour boat operator: Hornblower, a California-based company, according to CTV News.
The change of hands comes after a failed bid by the Glynn family, owners of the Maid of the Mist, to renew their operating license with the Niagara Parks Commission(NPC), reports the Niagara Falls Review.
The Maid of the Mist has been under the Glynn family care since the '70s and while the NPC thanked them for their years of service, the company wasn't in the mood to reciprocate the feelings.
“For more than a century, privately owned tour boats have operated from NPC lands ... and since 1972, NPC has been pleased to work with the Glynn family and Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. ... ” according to a NPC release obtained by BuffaloNews.com.
A possible interpretation? Thanks, that was fun but plenty of tour companies have come and gone. Get over it.
“This great history cannot be reduced to 41 years of ownership or by being referred to as simply privately held tour boats,” said Kevin Keenan, a spokesperson for the Glynn family.
“Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company is one of the oldest companies in Niagara Falls, Ont., and the only company to have ever operated below Niagara Falls, doing so for 128 consecutive years,” Keenan told the St. Catherine Standard.
The NPC has since responded, saying that they didn't intend to offend the company after their years of service.
And so the Glynn family will continue operating the Maid of the Mist -- just not in Canada. The family-run company also runs tours on the other side of the border and will continue to do so from a U.S. dock just beyond the Rainbow Bridge.
So whether it's the end of a 165-year dynasty or the fact that the Maid of the Mist is ending on such a bitter note, we're feeling a bit misty-eyed here at the Huffington Post Canada.
To remember why Canadians loved the boat tours in the first place, here's a look back at five reasons to be sad about losing the Maid of the Mist.
You Now Have To Enter The States Just To Ride ItThe Associated Press
'Hornblower' Just Doesn't Have The Same Ring To ItThe Associated Press
You'll Never Be Able To Share A Boat With A Prime Minister, President Or A Princess AgainThe Canadian Press
Who Will Supply Us With Our Reusable Souvenir Blue Raincoats?Getty
Last But Not Least, This ViewThe Canadian Press
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