Flagship Niagara docked for the second summer in a row


Hannah Chelton, Reporter

Every summer the Flagship Niagara sets sail in Erie. The historic attraction draws many tourists to the Erie area. Many people from all over the area come to experience a ride on the historic ship. The ship also sails all over the Great Lakes to give high school and college students the experience of sail-training voyages. These events are significant to the public due to the reason that it provides a piece of history for people to experience.

However, the last couple of years the sailing of the Niagara has not been normal whatsoever. Due to the pandemic, the Niagara has not been open to the public for two consecutive seasons. Last Tuesday it was docked for the summer, and the committee hopes that it can be operating in the near future for the public since more vaccines are being administered. Since the ship takes so many people to operate it is nearly impossible to operate the ship as a training vessel.

Since the Niagara is such an attraction for tourists there are some major drawbacks from not sailing the ship. Docking the ship has immensely slowed down tourism and lost revenue but also for the surrounding area as well. The Erie Maritime Museum has also experienced a loss of visitors and money. Since the Museum is located on the Presque Isle Bay on the waterfront of where the Niagara would be stationed for the public to tour visitors also went over to the museum. Then they could learn about the history and heritage of the Greater Erie region.

During this time of shutdown for the Niagara, the workers will attempt to get all the certificates up to date. If they are successful in their works, then the ship could be back on the water as early as fall. Additionally the ship takes about eight weeks to prepare for the sailing season, so workers will still be busy during this time getting it ready for the next time it is able to set sail once again.