It was a great day for an event and not just any event, but the Christening of three Hornblower Niagara Cruises catamarans in the Niagara Gorge. After months of preparation, the official celebration finally arrived on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 5:00pm in the Hornblower Landing.

Without a cloud in the sky and warm spring temperatures in the air, the natural backdrop and atmosphere made for a perfect event day. With the elegant flowers arranged, mouth-watering food displayed and the blue and white nautical décor in place, the event was ready to welcome its VIP guests and media. As the amazingly talented 4-piece jazz band (Southbound Soul) queued for music, guests began to arrive to the Visitor Pavilion where they found the tent transformed into a breathtaking event space. The event kept it’s authentic Canadian spirit as guests arrived and were able to stop for a photograph with a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer.

After 250 guests checked in, they were greeted by our Hornblower Niagara Cruises staff along with refreshing beverages from Peller Estates Winery and a large assortment of delicious culinary h’ordevres and roast beef carving stations. As 5:30pm arrived, the event began with opening remarks from Hornblower Niagara Cruises General Manager and Emcee, Mory DiMaurizio. Speeches soon followed by Janice Thomson, Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission; Jon Mamela, Chief Marketing Officer of Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC); Steven Davidson, Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Tourism – Province of Ontario; Ron Holgerson, President & CEO, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership (OTMPC); Vittoria Wikston, Director, Business Development at Niagara Falls Tourism and concluded with Terry MacRae, Hornblower Co. President & CEO.

What does a ceremonial boat christening consist of? A ceremonial boat christening during a launch is intended to invite good luck. Such examples include christening a vessel by breaking a sacrificial bottle of champagne over the bow as the ship is named aloud and launched.

Guests and media were invited to enjoy the christening of the three Hornblower vessels from the docks as they viewed the honourary Godmothers, Mary MacRae, Wife of Terry MacRae and Godmother for the Niagara Guardian; Camille MacRae, Daughter of Terry MacRae and Godmother for Niagara Thunder and Grace MacRae, Daughter of Terry MacRae and Godmother for Niagara Wonder. All three Godmothers participated in the traditional breaking of the champagne bottle against the bow of the vessels.

As the night carried on and the skies turned to shades of warm oranges and reds, guests were invited on board the 700-passenger catamaran to enjoy the ‘Voyage to the Falls’ boat tour. As the red ponchos were distributed and the cameras flashes it was evident that our guests were having a ball.

The night settled down with the smells of buttery popcorn lingering under the tent as the movie ‘Niagara’, starring Marilyn Monroe was shown inside our Visitor Pavilion. As the star-lit-sky turned black above, the event proceeded by welcoming guests aboard one last time for an Evening Falls Fireworks Cruise. The evening cruise had guests swaying to the music, sipping their beverages and waving their Niagara Cruises branded Glow Wands as they passed by the illuminated Falls and stunning Falls Fireworks display above. The event concluded at 10:30pm with its final guests departing the evening cruise.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises would like to thank each and every attendee for making our Boat Christening Ceremony & Official Launch Celebration a success.

To view the amazing images and video captured from Hornblower Niagara Cruises Official Launch Celebration click here:

View our Flickr photos from the event

Watch the video captured from the event