Flagship Niagara will be docked for the summer of 2021

Coronavirus

The Flagship Niagara was expected to be back in the waters this summer after not setting sail in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Now the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission said that will not happen.

Here is more on why the historical ship will be docked again.

An Erie attraction is staying docked for the second consecutive Summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pennsylvania’s Historical and Museum Commission told the Flagship Niagara League their decision to dock the ship last Tuesday.

However, during a Flagship Niagara League board meeting on March 23rd, Board Member Nick Scott said that they and the PHMC’s On-Site Administrator Jim Hall agreed the Niagara would sail this Summer.

This turned out to be miscommunication between organizations.

“So even though we all for getting the Niagara ready for 2021, hypothetically that was the target. How we were going to do that? We didn’t necessarily have an opportunity to sit down at the table and have that conversation,” said Nick Scott, Flagship Niagara League Board President.

The commission’s External Affairs Director, Howard Polland, responded to us with a statement saying,

Because of the pandemic and the inherent challenges in operating the ship in accordance with CDC and DOH guidelines, they had agreed that the Niagara would not sail this summer. Instead they agreed that in the Fall a crew would sail the ship to be dry-docked.

Now the focus turns to getting the maintenance done on the Niagara to get the ship out in the water as soon as possible.

“So that we can all get our certificates up to date so that we can sail, and if we are successful in doing that fairly quickly, we might actually see you’re on the lake in the fall,” said Scott.

Even though the decision was not what Scott expected, he still understands why the commission came to this conclusion.

“Yes it was a surprise that we’re not. Don’t have the cover off, but that said in fairness to the process. There’s no playbook for a week pandemic from their perspective,” said Scott.

By docking the Niagara, tourism for the City of Erie is affected.

“It is such a huge part of our tourism product. On of our top attractions. You can’t go to places like Pittsburgh or Cleveland or Buffalo and see the Niagara she’s only here,” said Christine Temple, Director of Communications for Visit Erie.

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