Niagara Falls - Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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When you see many of the photos of Niagara Falls quite often the iconic Maid of the Mist boats will be somewhere in the shot. So part of this article is to tell you what happened in 2014 when they stop running from the Canadian side of Niagara.
The deafening roar of Niagara can be heard all around the surrounding area. The falls span the Canadian and US border between the province of Ontario and the state of New York.
Niagara Falls itself is made up of three separate cascades. The Horseshoe Falls, which receives around 90% of the Niagara River’s flow; the American Falls; and the very small Bridal Veil Falls. On an average day about 170, 000 cubic metres of water pours over the three falls here every minute. It’s this huge volume that makes Niagara special because Niagara is only around 57m at its highest point. This puts it below the 500 mark when you look for the world’s tallest waterfalls. It’s just the sheer volume of water that makes it one of the worlds most impressive.
The falls are 130km south west of Toronto and there are several airlines which fly direct from the UK to Toronto with a flight time of about eight hours. There are many good flight connections from within Canada or the U. S. as you would expect for an attraction of this size.
Buses from Toronto to the falls take around 95 minutes and tickets with Megabus cost about £10. 00 one way. Trains also link Toronto and Niagara but the journey time is around two hours. If there are a few of you in the party then hiring a car is a much better option.
Buffalo which is 42km from Niagara, is the closest airport on the US side. Various shuttle services run from the airport to the falls and it’s about a 30-minute drive.
If you want to cross between the US and Canadian sides via the Rainbow Bridge, you will need your passport to hand. A toll must also be paid which is currently set at cars from $4. 50 and pedestrians $1. British citizens do not need a visa to cross but do need a valid ESTA to enter the USA.
The first Maid of the Mist boat tours started in 1846 with a steamboat and for over 150 years they have been the way to experience the falls up close. However, October 2013 marked the Maid’s final voyage from the Canadian side. In the spring of 2014, two 700-passenger state of the art Hornblower catamarans replaced the old icons. The old classic ‘Voyage To The Falls’ departs every 15 minutes from the Canadian docks and now there are also new ‘Sunset Cocktail Cruises’ and a ‘Falls Illumination Cruise’, which coincides with the nightly light display. Adult tickets cost C$20 for the 15-20min day tour and C$35 for the 30-40min night tour.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration arranged with the Maid of the Mist company to pay for $32 million in upgrades for the site of the former Schoellkopf power plant to turn the area into a winter storage dock for its two-boat fleet that now runs from the U. S. side of the river.
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