Tourism. It is the nucleus to my profession and indeed creates much astir when deciding on attractions, experiences, accommodations, conveniences, and everything else that entices visits from non-residents to a particular city or country. Summer of 2017 has been all about local tourism for me. As I have made it a mission to explore the corners of Ontario in honour of my grandfather’s #heavenlycentenary there was no question I would head to Niagara Falls and source out all the best attractions available to visitors, and those that have taken tourism to the next level. I discovered the MistRider zipline that blew my mind with its ability to accommodate patrons with disabilities, the aerial beauty from a yolo-style Helicopter ride over the falls, an incredible Food Tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and of course, the new cruise at the falls that replaced the nostalgically Canadian blue-ponchoed “Maid of the Mist”- the Hornblower Cruise Niagara Falls.

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Hornblower Cruise

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
The Hornblower and Maid of the Mist come Head to Head

This new Hornblower cruise that replaced the famous Maid of the Mist truly won me over. Just like many Canadians, I was on the fence regarding a replacement for the famous tugboat-style vessel that took you as close to the falls as possible; but as an incurable optimist, and because my Australian husband hadn’t felt the fury of the Horseshoe, I decided to hop aboard dawning my ever-stylish and eye-popping red poncho.

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Putting on the free Red Poncho

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Oh so stylish!

Hornblower Cruise Logistics

I am sure you are just dying to step on this wet adventure already so here are the important details for a seamless experience:

  • Purchase your tickets online before heading to Niagara Falls or head to the ticket office located between the American Falls and Horseshoe falls. The booth is right near the fun MistRider Zipline experience.
  • Once purchased, head to the boarding area. This line can get quite steep so I do suggest either going there first thing in the morning, or if you are heading to Niagara on the weekend, save this wonderful experience for the Sunday. I found the crowds to be significantly smaller, especially in the morning.
  • You will be given your red poncho as you proceed to the boarding entrance.
  • For the environmentalists in the group, don’t worry, the ponchos are recycled!
  • Before boarding why not enjoy a quick snack, ice cream bar, or pick up any supplies you might need at the shops conveniently located right at the door. You can also take aboard a glass or wine or bottle of beer!
  • Once through and aboard, choose where you would like to stand for the ride. Note that the upper level near the front is the wettest part of the boat! If you stand here, prepare to get soaked as the mist is the strongest in this spot!
  • Souvenir photos are taken prior to boarding so make sure you have your pearly whites ready!
  • This experience is only available seasonally. If you head to Niagara Falls in the winter, you will not be able to experience the ride.
  • The Hornblower offers a variety of different cruises – the original, the sunset cruise, and a special fireworks experience with a varied schedule.

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Putting on the fashionably cool poncho!

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Proceeding along to the boarding entrance

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Momo the mascot is ready!

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Our Mascot Goes everywhere!

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport

The experience truly is a must while in Niagara Falls. I can attest to this as it isn’t everyday that you can come up close and personal with a natural wonder of the world with such power and such beauty and of such importance to the regional escarpment. I mean, did you know that most the electricity of the area is generated through the falls? Crazy isn’t it!?

This waterfall releases more water than any other in the world and is much more spectacular within and underneath its strength and magnificence. Ontario has embraced its beautiful natural phenomenon in a great way by offering different attractions to experience the mist allowing patrons to “soak up” the beauty of such a gorgeous magnitude.

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Up close to the American Falls

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
After getting soaked!

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Up close to the Horseshoe Falls!

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
You see rainbows by the number!

Upon disembarkation from the boat, you are guided to the souvenir photo booth to check out your pictures. If you are keen to take them home, prepare to pay an additional $30-35 depending on which package you want. This may sound a little stiff to some visitors, but you get two different photographs taken before you are immersed in the falls (in other words, you will be dry.)

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Head to get your photo by passing the Hornblower sign!

Although I was bummed at the departure of the iconic Maid of the Mist to the American side, I am thrilled to state that the new Hornblower Cruise indeed filled the large shoes in front of them. You still get up close and personal with the falls, get as soaked as you possibly could, and leave with fond memories and mist within your hair. The only differences I noticed were of course the colour of the ponchos, the boats are more modern looking, and although I haven’t been on “Maid” recently, it seemed on the Hornblower that we got inches closer to the falls. I got wetter on this experience than I recall ever being on Maid standing in the same spot upon her bough.

If you are heading to Niagara Falls in the Spring/Summer months, I highly recommend this experience and truly feel it should not be missed. For an attraction that required replacing a Canadian icon, it certainly was able to without a hitch.

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Up close and personal with the falls!

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Hornblower Cruise

 

Soak up Niagara Falls Mist on the new Hornblower Cruise - Fill My Passport
Such a fun experience!

 

The New Hornblower Cruise is a MUST in Niagara Falls
The New Hornblower Cruise is a MUST in Niagara Falls

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Disclaimers:

We were a guest of The Hornblower while travelling through Niagara Falls. All opinions are our own and were not influenced in any way.

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