Hornblower Niagara Cruise Tickets
We purchased our tickets at the terminal right before the cruise, but you can purchase online in advance to save time. Tickets purchased online here also include a ride on the Hornblower Niagara Funicular . It costs $28.95 CAD for adults and $18.95 CAD for kids ages 5-12 . Children 4 and under are free. For the daytime tickets, you can choose a specific day but not a specific time. Your tickets are an email with a barcode which you can either print out or show on your phone . If you wait to purchase the tickets until you arrive, you can opt out of the funicular and save $3 CAD, but you may have to wait in line.
If you prefer, the Hornblower Journey to the Falls Boat Tour is also included in the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass along with other attractions on the Canadian side of the Falls. Get more information about the different passes that include the Hornblower here.
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What You Can Expect
Experience the best attractions Niagara Falls, USA has to offer on our Maid in America Tour. Create memories to last a lifetime on this unique guided adventure through a natural wonder of the world.
Discover Niagara Falls from the American side as you visit the Cave of the Winds and the State Observation Tower with an experienced local guide. Cap off your day with a misty trip on the water, getting up-close to the roaring cascades on a Maid of the Mist boat ride.
Start your journey with a visit to the observation tower, where you can take in sweeping views of Bridal Veil Falls while listening to your guide share stories of the daredevils who have attempted to conquer these raucous waters. Continue to Prospect and Terrapin Point state parks, and then journey into the Cave of the Winds for up-close views of the falls from 175 feet down in Niagara Gorge.
Then, head back up top for stunning views of the Horseshoe Falls from Terrapin Point, and explore the beautiful surroundings of Goat Island.
Head down to Whirlpool State Park, and witness the stunning Class 6 rapids crash around the gorge, ending in the Niagara Whirlpool.
End your journey by climbing aboard the Maid of the Mist, where you can don a poncho to help keep you dry as the captain sets a course and sails right up to the misty edge of Niagara Falls.
Ride Is Very Worth It
Loved the ride, had tons of fun. This ride does get you as close to the falls as you can get. But watch that camera, make sure you either have a water proof cam or have some protection over it because your lense it will get wet with droplets of water over it.
Once you have experienced the Cave Of The Winds, prepare yourself for a second soaking. The boat trip gives you a close up of both the Horseshoe Falls & The American Falls. You get an amazing breathtaking adventure. Once you have rode the Maid of the Mist, you want to go back on it over & over again.
Ok, it may be a typical tourist attraction, but it is absolutetly worth it! You get a great view of the falls and the rapids from the boat.
This ride was an absolute blast! It is incredible to ride right up to the Horseshoe Falls and experience the mist….well, the DRENCHING mist! Best views on the top deck, and hold onto someone or something when you reach the Falls, it gets rocky! And bring a water resistant camera, everything gets wet! We overheard some folks saying the Canadian ride must be “better” because “the view on that side is better”…remember, the boats on both sides go the same route!
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Niagara Falls Boat Tour Price Differences
Niagara boat cruise prices are pretty similar, but the Hornblower cruise is a little bit more. The Hornblower ticket includes the Niagara Funicular which is $3 CAD if you bought it separately. 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 Mists is free for kids 5 and under with an accompanying adult, while Hornblower only lets kids 4 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 Expect On A Niagara Falls Cruise
My experience on my Niagara boat tour was different than I expected. I thought that as we got close to the Falls the water would get pretty rough. That wasnt the case. The water seemed to be pretty calm but the mist and wind were much more powerful than what I expected.
You need that poncho and you need to tie it tight. I had to hold on to poncho in order to keep my hair somewhat dry. Even with holding onto my poncho my hair did get wet though!
Since you will get wet anyway, it could be a good thing to do when it is raining in Niagara. Looking back it would have been nice to have some waterproof covers for our shoes . Even with shoe covers, you still need to allow time for the rest of you to dry! We were happy we were able to go back to the hotel and change before dinner. If you do your Niagara boat tour on a chilly day, you will want to get out of your wet clothes as soon as possible. Ladies, you will also want to be sure to bring waterproof mascara!
I should mention there is no storage for your belongings. Please dont bring things that are not waterproof. If you plan on using your cell phone to take photos, you should bring a waterproof phone case. You can actually find some good quality ones that are affordable on Amazon . We used a GoPro Hero 5 Black for our video. It is waterproof and great for capturing action video like this. .
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How Can I Save Money In Niagara Falls
Save money on admission by purchasing a Niagara USA Discovery Pass, which includes the following:
- One-day of unlimited rides on the Niagara Scenic Trolley
- Maid of the Mist admission
- Cave of the Winds admission
- Niagara: Legends of Adventure Theater
- Aquarium of Niagara
- Niagara Gorge Discovery Center
Passes are $46 for adults and $35 for children, so you can save $15-25 depending on the type of pass purchased.
Horseshoe Falls, or the Canadian Falls, can be viewed from Terrapin Point. However, the Maid of the Mist charges right up in front of the Falls and all the passengers are caught up in the spray. It’s a truly exhilarating experience.
Niagara Falls Maid Of The Mist
The Maid of the Mist operates the boat ride on the US side of the Niagara River in Niagara Falls New York USA.
To quickly find out what attractions are open in Niagara Falls USA or Canada visit Now open in Niagara Falls.
Ride into the Mist! Water rushes all around as you soak in the excitement and explore the roar of the Falls. A historical ride aboard the world-famous Maid of the Mist is a half hour thrill of a lifetime! North Americas oldest tourist attraction, millions of visitors have enjoyed the boat tours since 1846.
Maid of the Mist boats will take you from the docks past the base of the American Falls, then into the basin of the magnificent Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Operating from late April/early May to early November each year. Maid of the Mist boats depart every 15 minutes. A recyclable souvenir raincoat is provided free with admission to help keep you dry from the mist and spray. At the end of your boat tour you can visit the Maid of the Mist gift shop.
Reservations are not necessary and tickets can be purchased at the entrance to the NY State Observation Tower within Niagara Falls State Park. After purchasing your ticket you will then take an elevator ride to our boarding docks at the river. The Maid of the Mist is accessible for physically challenged persons.
Automobile parking is available. For navigation to the parking lot use the following address: Niagara Falls Visitor Center Parking Lot 1 Niagara Falls NY USA
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Seeing Niagara Falls On The Maid Of The Mist
There are few experiences like the Maid of the Mist . What begins as a gentle, 20-minute boat ride suddenly transforms into a journey into the heart of the falls. From the safety of the vessel, you are buffeted by heavy mist. Its awe-inspiring to see the 17-story-high thundering wall of water that slams into the Lower Niagara River. For more than 150 years, this ride has thrilled millions of tourists and is the top attraction in Niagara.
Once youre aboard the boat, relax and enjoy the view. After the boat pulls away from the dock, it passes American Falls. Notice the stairs along the left side of the falls. This is part of the Crows Nest, and can be accessed after the boat ride.
As the boat moves onward, youll approach Bridal Veil Falls, flowing between Luna Island and Goat Island. Youll see brave folks underneath this waterfall, experiencing the Cave of the Winds. Theres a deceptively calm stretch of water, the quiet before the storm. Thousands of waterfowl can be seen resting or building nests in the rocky ledges of the gorge.
The chatter of the birds gives way to the ominous din of Horseshoe Falls. As the boat enters the basin beneath the falls, water thunders down from a precipice 17 stories above. Wind whips mist from all sides as the boat bobs upon a boiling cauldron of water. For five intense minutes, the boat fights the surging waters and the unpredictable wind dictates visibility.
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
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Hornblower Vs Maid Of The Mist
Both boat tours do the same trip- up past the American Falls to the Horseshoe Falls, where the boat goes into the mist of the Horseshoe Falls. We’ve watched both tours and they are pretty much identical, so our advice to to choose whichever tour runs from your side of the falls.
We went with Hornblower Niagara Falls Cruises, as we were based on the Canadian side.
Maid Of The Mist Tickets
For Maid of the Mist, you can purchase tickets online in advance here but they are not for a specific day or time. For 2020, adults tickets cost $22.25 USD and children tickets are $13.00 USD. Remember children 5 and under are free. 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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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 Hornblower Niagara Cruises, 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, but if you want to do one of the Evening Niagara Falls cruises, I would recommend booking in advance as those will sell out.
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Why Did Maid Of The Mist Become Hornblower
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. Maid of the Mist ends their season in early November.
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Is It The Niagara Falls Boat Tour Worth It
Absolutely. We’re not normally ones for over-touristy stuff, but this cruise is definitely worth your time and money. Being able to see the falls from river level is cool enough, but to actually go into the mist, hear the roar and feel the force of the water crashing around you is just spectacular.
If you only go to Niagara Falls for one day, and only do one thing, do this.
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Niagara Falls Night Cruise
Only Hornblower offers cruises to see Niagara Falls at night. You can do the Niagara Falls Fireworks Cruise on evenings when there are fireworks scheduled. The evening cruises run from the beginning of May until the end of October. This is one of the most romantic things to do in Niagara Falls.
These cruises last 40 minutes and do sell out quickly, so you will want to get your tickets in advance. The evening cruise is more expensive than the daytime ones because it is longer. In 2019, Tickets for adults cost $42.95 CAD and $27.95 CAD for kids 12 and under. These tickets also include the Niagara Funicular . . I should also mention that these extended night cruises do include a cash bar, light snacks for purchase, and music.
The Horseshoe Falls is where the boat ride really gets intense!
Hornblower does also offer 20-minute long Voyage to the Falls Evening cruises as well for the same price as the daytime cruise. During this cruise, you would also get to see the falls illuminated.
All the evening cruises are described as a light mist experience rather than the full mist experience of the daytime cruises. I am guessing with the light mist experience you would still get wet. The boats do have indoor areas if you want to make sure you stay completely dry. Im not sure you would get the full experience if you stay inside the whole cruise though.
You will feel a little mist from the American and Bridal Veil Falls.
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Can I Use A Camera On The Niagara Falls Cruise
Sure you can. Couple of things to remember:
- Don’t drop it over the side- a wrist strap is invaluable, especially with a lot of people jostling for a view
- You won’t be able to set up a tripod, unless you go REALLY early and get a boat which is only half full. Even then, the boat is moving, so a tripod may not be much use
- It will probably get wet! We recommend this instead of ruining your camera!
Has Anyone Died On Maid Of The Mist
It found 60 people killed themselves from the Falls between 1978 and 1988. Of those, 59 per cent were men and 41 per cent were women. The womans body was pulled from the river at about 4.45pm on Tuesday by crew members on board the Maid of the Mist.
Then, Can you swim in Niagara Falls?
While it may seem tempting and even appear to be safe, DO NOT SWIM AT NIAGARA FALLS. You may die very easily, very quickly and very painfully.
Whats the difference between Maid of the Mist and Hornblower? The biggest difference between Maid of the Mist and Hornblower is the history behind them. While the Maid of the Mist has been operating on the Niagara River since 1846, first as a ferry and later as a sightseeing boat, the Hornblower has been operating the Niagara Falls Boat Tour since only 2014.
Keeping this in consideration, How long until Niagara Falls is gone?
Scientists estimate the worlds second largest waterfall will disappear into Lake Erie 23,000 years from now.
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