Niagara Falls - Voyage to the Falls - Orlando / Florida Guide
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When viewing Niagara Falls from either side of the US/Canadian border you cannot fail to notice the seemingly tiny boats sailing relentlessly up and down the Niagara River to the base of Horseshoe Falls and for many this is an absolute must when visiting the Falls area.
Many refer to the trip as ' The Maid of the Mist' boat tour which has been taking tourists to the Falls since the mid 1800' s and is Niagara' s oldest tourist attraction. Nowadays The Maid of The Mist sails only from the US side of the Niagara River but it is possible to take an identical tour leaving from the Canadian side on board one of the Hornblower cruise boats.
Hornblower Cruises offer a variety of different cruises and packages. The popular ' Voyage to the Falls' cruise which is the tour we chose but it is also possible to take nighttime cruises to visit the Falls when they are illuminated in darkness, the Falls are lit every night and also a fireworks cruise on selected nights.
When we visited in 2016 fireworks took place Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with additional displays on Holidays, but check the Hornblower website for details as this may change in subsequent years.
It is possible to book your ticket in advance via the website but is not absolutely necessary when taking the Voyage to the Falls tour as you cannot book for a specific date or time.
We booked on the day at The Hornblower cruise office situated in the Clifton Hill area of Niagara, look for the large white tented coverings on the main drag, they are hard to miss! The cost was approximately $20 Canadian and boats sailed every 15 minutes for a tour lasting approximately 20 minutes.
Once you have purchase your tickets there is a steep descent down to the boat dock, part if this is achieved by using an elevator and the remainder is a concrete walkway. En route you will collect your souvenir red poncho which you will definitely need!
Lines move quickly and once on board you have a choice of upper or lower deck, there is no seating and premium spots are by the handrails.
The cruise takes you past the American and Bridal Veil Falls and offers fantastic close up views of them both. Don' t worry if you are on the opposite side of the boat, you will pass them again on your return journey and this time they will be on your side!
After passing these two waterfalls you will head straight for the Horseshoe Falls when you seem to sit motionlessly in the spray for several minutes before turning and heading back to the dock.
When viewed from above the cruise looks very rough but is surprisingly smooth and as someone who suffers wretchedly from seasickness it caused me no problems whatsoever.
Once you have disembarked from the boat there is the opportunity to take refreshments on the patio deck where in the evenings there is sometimes a barbeque and music.
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