The wait is finally over! Two years later, two catamarans and over 150 new employees, Hornblower Niagara Cruises officially opened its doors on May 15, 2014. The floodgates of people could not compare to the amounts of shoppers in a department store on Christmas Eve. Despite the sprinkle of rain, we are pleased with the picture perfect grand opening event. With thousands of tickets pre-purchased online and hundreds of inquiries, we are ready to make history in Niagara Falls, Canada as the only Falls boat tour in Niagara Falls, Canada. 

As the gates opened at 8am, hundreds of smiling and excited families lingered over to the Hornblower Plaza to see the grand sail structures, the Hornblower Niagara Cruises constructed arch, freshly planted floral gardens and the many colourful televised screens displaying our amazing experiences. The morning of our first day operating also brought back a few friendly faces. Ian Peaceful, his daughter Sophie and her friend, Morgan returned to the location on 5920 River Road only to experience a brand new and fully enhanced experience on board our state-of-the-art catamarans. What made this story heartwarming is that Ian and his family were the last passengers to ride the last boat ride and experience the Maid of the Mist on the Canadian side before it officially closed it doors. The trio were excited to get on board the boat which they later met our Captain, Mark Keith in the wheelhouse and stood on the highest peek of the boat on our 360 unobstructed viewing deck.

As the day continued, our amazing team members were excited to introduce visitors and let them know about the many fantastic features found on board the catamarans. For the first time, we are pleased to let you know that now visitors can stand behind a retractable glass wall that brings you as close as ever to the mighty Falls and allows you to remain dry. If remaining dry isn’t a concern for you, then be adventurous and stand on board the tallest part of the catamaran on the unobstructed viewing platform that allows you to feel the refreshing mist. Visitors now for the first time, can also experience Niagara’s surrounding beauty past 5pm while enjoying cocktails, laughs with family and friends while listening to musical entertainment on the Sunset Cocktail Cruise. The experience continues throughout the night for visitors looking to be part of the breathtaking fireworks show on board the Falls Fireworks and Falls Illumination cruise. This experience is best enjoyed with family and friends and with a glass of refreshing wine and light snacks.

With a number of international visitors exploring the Falls, it was great to see our brand new Audio Guide in their hands. The mini hand-held guides are available in 8 different languages and allow our visitors to hear about the magic and wonder of the Falls in their language of choice.

To view some more images captured from our opening day, take a peek at our Flickr’ Album