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Niagara Falls Boat Ride Canada

Niagara Falls Boat Tour Price Differences

Niagara Falls Canadian Side Tour and Maid of the Mist Boat Ride

Niagara boat cruise prices are pretty similar, but the Hornblower cruise is a little bit more.

You pay for the Hornblower Cruise Niagara Falls in Canadian Dollars and the Maid of the Mist in US Dollars. Similarly, the Hornblower Cruise is included in the Canada attraction packages and the Maid of the Mist is in the American ones.

The cost difference for the cruises might be more if you have kids. Maid of the Mist is free for kids 5 and under with an accompanying adult, while Hornblower only lets kids 2 and under on for free. It is a minor detail, but if you have twin 5-year-olds like one of my readers, Pauline, it can add up.

Both cruises provide all guests with ponchos. Spoiler alert: you will need them! The Maid of the Mist poncho is blue and the poncho for the Hornblower Cruise is red. As long as you get a poncho, that should be fine. Color should not be a deciding factor in choosing your Niagara Falls Boat Tour!

You can see the river looks pretty calm heading towards the Horseshoe Falls.

What To See During The Cruise

The Maid of the Mist tour has been a favourite attraction at Niagara Falls State Park for over 150 years. The dramatic ride will take you through the rushing waters of the falls and over huge rock formations:

  • The journey begins at the Observation Tower, where visitors receive a souvenir rain poncho and board the double-decker Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat.
  • From there, the boat passes the base of the American Falls and arrives at the Horseshoe Falls basin.
  • The majestic view of Niagara Falls is the main attraction of this tour that words alone cannot do justice to.
  • You can choose to stand on the deck or stay on the boat to enjoy the view of the waterfall.
  • The highlight of the trip is when the captain drives into the centre of the waterfall as far as the weather conditions make it possible, giving the tourist an enviable and unrepeatable view.
  • The trip ends by returning back to the American side at Niagara Falls State Park.

Ride In The Whirlpool Aero Car

3850 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8, Canada

Visitors have been testing their mettle on the Whirlpool Aero Car since 1916!

This antique cable car pulls you over the Niagara Whirlpool where you can watch the turquoise water swirl every which way right under your feet. You might just need to take a few extra deep breaths during the trip.

While we were up there, we saw a Whirlpool Jet Boat revving up for a spin around the whirlpool waves in the gorge.

Little did I know that would be us in a few days. Read on to hear more about that drenching experience!

Pro Tip: Venture beyond the main falls area

Many people drive in to gaze at the falls and drive away not knowing there is a whole region of amazing to discover. Niagara Falls is just one highlight of the Niagara Parks area.

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Scenic Niagara Falls Night Tour With Boat Ride

Adult – ages 13 years and up

Child – ages 3 through 12 years

Infant – 0 through 2 years

  • Visit to Illumination Tower to control the lights
  • Free I Lit Up Niagara Falls certificate as proof of visit
  • 3-Course dinner with your tour group at Table Rock House Restaurant with an incredible view of the Horseshoe Falls
  • Voyage to the Falls boat ride with Hornblower Niagara Cruises
  • Complimentary pick up and drop off in Niagara Falls, Canada

Your night tour of Niagara Falls begins with pick up directly from your hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario before heading out on a narrated driving tour to view the Dufferin Islands, Old Scow and International Control Dam.

Then as the day begins to fade into evening youll head out on a Hornblower cruise where youll get close enough to actually feel the mist coming from the Falls.

Next, your guide will bring you to Table Rock House Restaurant for a delicious 3-course dinner with an incredible view of the Horseshoe Falls to take in while you dine with your tour group.

After dinner, you will head up to the Illumination Tower where you will be able to change the lights that illuminate Niagara Falls in real-time before taking in the spectacular view of the Fireworks show on the Falls. Before you leave, you will be granted an I Lit Up Niagara Falls certificate as a keepsake from this exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

At the end of your tour, your guide will bring you back to your hotel in Niagara Falls.

Important Info:

Iv Falls Fireworks Cruise

Jet Boat Ride Niagara Falls Canada

Timings: 9:30 p.m. 10:10 p.m.Ride time: 40 minutes

Standing in the middle of the Niagara Gorge and watching fireworks explode into lovely patterns high above in the sky is a great way to spend an evening in Niagara Falls Canada.

On select dates between May and October, the Niagara Parks Commission schedules fireworks that are set off from the Niagara River shoreline at the base of the Niagara Gorge. The Falls Fireworks Cruise is the perfect Niagara Falls Boat Tour Canada Side to view the spectacular fireworks that light up the Niagara night sky.

Every night, Niagara Falls is illuminated in a hue of lovely colours that change every few minutes. You will love the view of the lovely colours reflected by the Falls and multi-coloured fireworks display in the sky. There will be an onboard licensed bar serving Niagara wines and craft beers, music and complimentary snack.

Your Falls Fireworks Cruise ticket gives you access to the Hornblower Landing and Riverside Patio. The Riverside Patio is located on the banks of the Niagara River directly across from the American and Bridal Veil Falls. You can arrive early and spend some time admiring the view. You can have freshly prepared meals and snacks and enjoy craft beers or Niagara fine wines.

For more details about the Falls Fireworks Cruise, please click here.

Get an Up-close View of the Niagara Falls with the Niagara Falls Boat Tour Canada Side

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How To Locate The Maid Of The Mist Boat Stop In The Park

The Maid of the Mist docks at the Lower Niagara River at the site of the former Schoellkopf Power Station in Niagara Falls.

1- From the visitor car park at Niagara Falls State Park you will only have to walk a little more than 300 metres to reach the Maid of the Mist docking port.

2- You have to face east looking for the Niagara Adventure Theatre which faces the falls.

3- Then past the Niagara Falls Fireworks Observation Point you will see the location of the harbours.

I Voyage To The Falls Boat Tour

Timings: 8:30 a.m. till dusk.Ride time: 20 minutes

During peak season, boats sail every 15 minutes to reduce wait time and passenger congestion. This daytime Niagara Falls Boat Tour Canada Side is an exciting ride in the Niagara Gorge. You will be amazed to know that the Niagara Gorge is the result of thousands of years of erosion by the Niagara River. The catamarans have an enclosed area as well as an open deck for a better view. You will first travel past the American and Bridal Veil Falls on the US side.

The boat is then navigated further upstream where the water currents are fast and treacherous. The boat enters into the turbulent waters near the Horseshoe Falls and you are so close to the Falls, you will be drenched by its spray. Not to worry, your complimentary poncho will keep you relatively dry. The ride lasts roughly 20 minutes.

Your ticket includes an elevator ride to the boat dock, complimentary misth poncho, and access to the Hornblower Landing and Riverside Patio.

The Hornblower boat cruise will be the most thrilling ride you will experience in Niagara Falls Canada.

For more details, please click here.

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Buying Niagara Falls Boat Tour Tickets

Unlike many other popular tourist attractions, you do not need to buy tickets for the Maid of the Mist or the Hornblower in advance. The boats run frequently and carry hundreds of people, so they dont sell out.

While you can buy tickets online, you cannot book a specific tour time for daytime cruises. We bought our tickets at the booth in front of the Hornblower Cruise when we were ready to do the boat ride.

It may seem like there is a long wait for the tours, but since boats are large and run every 15 minutes the lines will move reasonably fast. During peak days, I would recommend going early to minimize your wait time.

It wasnt crowded when we went, so we could have gotten right on when we got to the dock but we decided to wait and be the first people to board the next boat. That way we could get the best seat well, place to stand. You dont need to worry about where you end up standing though. Visibility is limited and youre going to get wet anyway!

Voyage To The Falls Boat Tour

Hornblower Niagara Falls Boat Tours

Get #InTheMist aboard Canada’s Top Visitor Experience – Voyage to the Falls boat tour – and take home the ultimate souvenir: a memory.The 20-minute Voyage to the Falls boat tour, sailing from Niagara Falls, Canada, brings guests on the journey of a lifetime. Enjoy stunning views of the Niagara Gorge, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls, and come face-to-face with the famous Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Feel the thundering roar, awesome power, and amazing mist that come along with these natural wonders or, ride after sunset for a light-mist experience with the illumination of the Falls.Together we can find safe ways to create amazing experiences.

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Best Parking Spots In Niagara Falls

Entry is through Niagara Falls State Park, where you’ll be greeted with flags from various businesses directing you to their own private car parks. Try the state park car parksfirst they are cheaper and closer to the falls.

At Prospect Point there is a car park open year-round. There are also two car parks on nearby Goat Island. The entrance fee for vehicles is 6-9 euros, depending on the season. Parking is free if you have the annual state park passport.

Traveller Tip

If the day is nice and you want to have a picnic in the area, there is space to do so if you come well prepared. This can also be a good way to save money.

Journey Behind The Falls

6650 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8, Canada

Put on that yellow poncho and prepare for the spray and thunder of the falls!

Journey Behind the Falls takes you into tunnels behind the bedrock of the Niagara Falls Canada side.

Go down 125 feet, then climb out to an observation deck and get close to the falls.

Pro Tip: Save $$ with the Adventure Pass for Niagara Parks.

You save money on the included attractions and you save time waiting in line.

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Niagara Falls Usa: Maid Of The Mist Boat Cruise & Guided Walking Tour

Lace up your boots and get ready to explore the US side of the falls on this combined walking and boating adventure. The hour-long Niagara Falls walking tour treats you to some of the best viewpoints overlooking American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. It can be extended to 1.5 hours to include Horseshoe Falls.

Your expert guide will spill the beans about the intriguing history and geography of the cascade in an intimate, small group setting.

A Niagara Falls boat tour on Maid of the Mist is included in summer, or admission to the Niagara Falls video experience during winter.

From the Canadian Side

Maid Of The Mist Tickets

Niagara Falls Boat Rides &  Trips

For Maid of the Mist, you can purchase tickets online in advance here but they are not for a specific day or time. For 2022, adults tickets cost $25.25 USD and children tickets are $14.75 USD. Remember children 5 and under are free with an accompanying adult.

If you are looking for a Maid of the Mist discount and plan on seeing other attractions on the New York side of the Falls, you may want to purchase the Niagara Falls USA Discovery Pass.

After the cruise, we may be wet but we were all smiles!

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Niagara Falls Boat Rides 2022

Visit the Niagara Falls boat rides in Niagara Falls USA & Canada.
Niagara Falls boat rides are available on both sides of the Niagara River in the USA & Canada.
In Niagara Falls NY the boat ride is named Maid of the Mist.
In Niagara Falls Canada the boat ride is named Hornblower Niagara.
The boat rides will open for the 2022 season during late April or early May and close in October. View current hours.
Restrooms are available and giftshops nearby.
Visitors average 40-60 minutes here. The ride itself takes about 20 minutes.
Hours of operation are typically 8 am to 6 pm during the tourism season. Hornblower offers evening tours during July & August.
Paid parking is available nearby. parking information

TheWeGo Shuttle in Canada & Niagara Scenic Trolleyin the USA stop near the boat ride entrances.

At Niagara Falls you have two choices for boat tours below the falls. If you are visiting Niagara Falls Canada you will ride aboard Hornblowers Niagara Cruises and in Niagara Falls New York the tour is named the Maid of the Mist boat ride. Both operators offer exciting rides up close to the cascades of Niagara Falls! You can purchase tickets right at the ticket window and there is no need to make reservations.

Typically the season starts in late April or early May and operates until October. Neither tour operates during the months of November through March.

Maid of the Mist in the USA opened for the season on Friday April 29th 2022.

Expert Tips For Your Niagara Falls Boat Tour

  • Location is the best way to choose when you are debating the Maid of the Mist vs Hornblower. If you are on the American Side of Niagara Falls, choose the Maid of the Mist. If you are on the Canadian Side, go with Niagara City Cruises by Hornblower, its basically the Canadian Maid of the Mist.
  • Do not bring electronics that wont fit inside your pocket or purse on your cruise. There is a high probability they will get wet from the mist. If you are bringing your cell phone to take pictures, consider also bringing a waterproof case.
  • The daytime boat tours do not need to be prebooked.

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Best Niagara Falls Boat Tours

Embrace the majesty of thundering cascades and ethereal mists as you get up close to North Americas largest waterfall. Niagara Falls boat tours can be enjoyed from both sides of the border, with the most popular excursions being Maid of the Mist in the US, and Hornblower Niagara Cruises in Canada.

Horseshoe Falls is the main attraction, but American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls can also be visited. Read this guide for more information about the best Niagara Falls boat tours.

From the American Side

How To Choose The Best Niagara Cruise

Niagara Falls Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour

Since the differences between the two Niagara Falls boat tours are insignificant, the deciding factor is which side of Niagara Falls you are on. Border crossing does take time, and there are fees whether you walk across the Rainbow Bridge or drive across the border.

If you are on the American side, then do the Maid of the Mist. If you are on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, then it makes more sense to do the Niagara City Cruise. We were staying on the Canadian side, so we decided to take the Hornblower. We could have also done the Maid of the Mist if we would have done the boat ride the same day we did the Cave of the Winds since that is on the American side of the falls.

Additionally, the season for Hornblower cruises is slightly longer than the Maid of the Mist. Hornblower operates their daytime cruises from April 1st until November 30th, weather permitting. Maid of the Mist ends their season in early November.

If you are concerned about COVID, Hornblower does have the vaccination and mask requirements to reduce your risk. Those who are not vaccinated would only have the option of going on the Maid of the Mist.

Luckily, regardless of what boat you choose, it will be an experience you will always remember. We had a great time!

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Hornblowers Voyage To The Falls Boat Tours

Hop on board the iconic Hornblower boat for a thrilling 20-minute voyage where getting soaked by the thundering falls is all part of this unforgettable adventure. The open deck means there will be show-stopping views of Horseshoe Falls from every angle making sure you do not miss a moment of this wild natural spectacle.

This easy there and back Niagara Falls boat tour is quick and hassle-free. It is a great way to get up close and personal with one of North Americas most popular visitor attractions. Complimentary ponchos are included to help keep you dry in the mist.

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