Maid of the Mist tour boat company, mainstay of Niagara Falls for decades, faces uncertain future

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The Maid of the Mist tour boats have plied the roiling waters of the Niagara Gorge since the 1840s, taking tens of millions of visitors, including the future King Edward VII (1860), Marilyn Monroe (1952) and Mikhail Gorbachev (1983), past the American Falls to the base of the Horseshoe Falls, whose staggering height and swirling mist feel almost biblical.

“It’s like ‘The Ten Commandments,’ ” shouted a drenched Gargeyi Baipa, a recent passenger from India on one of the boats, referring to the 1956 film that depicted the Exodus.

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