Community Update Category: Things To Do
Starting the season several weeks behind schedule, the crew of Miss Buffalo II have made the necessary updates to the vessel to comply with the requirements outlined in the New York Forward Safety Plan Template. Bar and Snack and Catering services will resume with some restrictions implemented by the Erie County Health Department.
Hand sanitizer stations and signage throughout the boat, plexiglass dividers and touch-less payment systems at the bar and ticket window, and daily health screening of all crew are among the new health and safety measures being implemented. Trip manifests will also be used to assist with contact tracing efforts.
“The safety of our passengers and crew has always been of utmost importance and has increased tenfold in the midst of the pandemic that has gripped us all. Our crew will continue to work hard to ensure that they meet the latest guidelines provided by the CDC and other outlets. We have developed new training protocols for the crew with a focus on high-touch areas like handrails, doorknobs, and other surfaces. We have reconfigured our floor plan to allow for social distancing and have a new schedule that will be rolled out later this week on our website and social media,” said BHC President, Ryan Hayhurst.
Masks will be required for boarding, disembarking and when passengers are moving about the boat or in situations when remaining socially distant is not possible. BHC will have masks on hand for passengers.
“So far 2020 has only gave us lemons, so we made lemonade … this season passengers will be able to enjoy brand new bathrooms (heads) and a lower bar that we have named Jack’s Cove after my uncle Jack! We are excited to get Buffalo back on the water for a sailor’s point of view. We are optimistic that we will have some semblance of a season to keep us afloat to celebrate our 50th season next year! We are a staple of the Buffalo Waterfront and we hope to remain that way for years to come,” Hayhurst added.
Buffalo Harbor Cruises is a family business that has been cruising the waterways of Buffalo since 1971. Currently sailing the Miss Buffalo II, BHC once operated a fleet of three boats with a collective capacity of more than 500 passengers. Buffalo Harbor Cruises boasts a combined ridership of more than 1 million people from all over the world, topping out at almost 30,000 in 2019. The Miss Buffalo II is a 100-ton, open-air vessel with two decks, two bars and two heads that can carry 198 passengers. BHC employs 26 employees, some coming back seasonally for more than 35 years. Cruises are offered May through September with a variety of options that include Private Charters, Field Trips, Brunch, Oktoberfest, Beer and Wine tastings, Narrated Sightseeing, TGIF and Sunset Cruises. This is Buffalo Harbor Cruises 49th season.
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