After many years, months and final weeks of planning and preparation, May 14, 2014 finally arrived with Hornblower Niagara Cruises ready to make its big debut with its inaugural Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. As the largest passenger vessel company in North America, also operating the official tour boats to the Statue of Liberty and Alcatraz Island, Hornblower is pushing the envelope in tourism offerings once again by introducing evening tours for visitors looking for more options than just the daytime Voyage to the Falls.

Back in February 2012, the Niagara Parks Commission awarded Hornblower Niagara Cruises a 30-year contract to serve as the official boat tour operator. Hornblower Niagara Cruises is the only company on the Canadian side permitted to operate the iconic boat tours to the Bridal Veil, American and Horseshoe Falls.

As the fogged cleared the air and the clouds rolled over the sky, many locals and visitors stood from afar to witness this historical moment in the making in Niagara Falls, Canada. The event welcomed a number of local dignitaries, Hornblower Niagara Cruises management and employees and a number of media from across Niagara and Buffalo, New York. Among the attendees were: Terry MacRae, Hornblower CEO, Mory DiMaurizio, Hornblower Niagara Cruises General Manager, Janice Thomson, Niagara Parks Commissions Chairman, John Lohuis, Niagara Parks Commission General Manager and Jim Diodati, Niagara Falls Mayor.

Once the clock struck 12:30pm, the event kicked off with introductory speeches by Janice Thomson, Chairman, Niagara Parks Commission, Terry MacRae, CEO, Hornblower and Mory DiMaurizio, General Manager, Hornblower Niagara Cruises.

““Hornblower is known throughout North America for innovative concepts and high quality standards of excellence in everything that we do,” said MacRae. “We know the public will enjoy the new products and services that we will be delivering for the first time in the gorge, including private charters of the boats.”

In addition to the daily trips to the Falls, which are scheduled to begin at 7:45AM everyday, Hornblower will be launching a Sunset Cocktail Cruise, Falls Illumination Cruise and Falls Firework Cruise. Now you’ll be able to watch Canada’s longest running fireworks series from the base of the Falls while sipping champagne on a warm summer night. The afternoon ceremony also gave recognition to the St. Catharines Girls Under 15 Soccer team that were on site to assist in the revealing of the Niagara Parks Commission plaques. The team has been proudly sponsored by Hornblower Niagara Cruises since 2013.

After the ceremony, Terry MacRae, CEO, Madalena Phillips, Sr. Marketing Manager and members of the Niagara Parks Commission led the media on a guided tour to see and experience first hand the 700-passenger state-of-the-art catamarans and 159-passenger Hornblower Guardian.

With Hornblower Niagara Cruises officially opening on May 15, 2014, guests and visitors are also able to purchase their tickets at the ticket booths located at the Hornblower Plaza a day before the officially opening.

To view images from the event, visit: