The most popular thing to do in Niagara Falls, aside from strolling the boardwalk is the Hornblower ferry ride that takes passengers into the mist and furor of the Falls themselves.
What Is Hornblower?
- Hornblower Niagara Cruises replaced the Maid of the Mist as the ferry operator on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls in 2014. The Maid of the Mist still runs ferry tours on the American side of Niagara Falls.
- Hornblower Niagara Cruises offers two boat tours that operate from morning through the evening: The first is the daytime Voyage to the Falls and the second is the Evening Cruise in which passengers can enjoy fireworks or the illuminated waterfalls at night.
- Hornblower's Voyage to the Falls is a 20-minute ride on a double-decker boat that takes you through the Niagara Gorge and up close to Niagara Falls - both the American Falls and the Canadian Falls - so that you can feel the spray and get a sense of the power of the water flow.
- The boat stops and lingers at the foot of the Falls, 170 feet (52 meters) below the brink.
- Be prepared to get wet; fortunately, disposable rain ponchos come with admission.
Where to Catch a Tour
Hornblower boat rides set sail from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls at the foot of Clifton Hill. Maid of the Mist is the boat tour that launches from the U.S. side of the Falls.
When Does Hornblower Boat Tours Operate?
Depending on weather conditions, Hornblower boat tours generally operate between April and October. Hornblower boat tours leave about every 15 - 20 mins between 7:45 am and 4:45 - 7:45 pm, depending on the time of the season.
How Do I Get Tickets?
Tickets for Hornblower are available at the foot of Clifton Hill at the entrance to the boarding dock. Admission to Hornblower is also available as part of any number of guided Viator Niagara Falls tours that may include transportation from Toronto, helicopter ride, and other attractions. Buying tickets online before your visit is advisable especially on weekends.
Is the Tour Accessible for Strollers and Wheelchairs?
Yes, all parts of the Hornblower tour are wheelchair and stroller accessible. Parents can leave strollers on shore before boarding the Hornblower if they wish.
- Parking is available at the south end of the Falls viewing area near McLeod Road, which is a 10-minute walk to the Maid of the Mist.
- A large lot is at the end of Robinson Street.
- Parking at the Butterfly Conservatory is free, but a 10 min drive away. From the Butterfly Conservatory, take the People Mover, which will drive you around Niagara's attractions all day for a flat fee.