Niagara Falls Boat Rides
At Niagara Falls you have two choices for boat tours below the falls. If you are visiting Niagara Falls Canada you will ride aboard Hornblower’s Niagara Cruises and in Niagara Falls New York the tour is named the Maid of the Mist.
Both operators offer exciting rides up close to the cascades of Niagara Falls! You can purchase tickets right at the ticket window and there is no need to make reservations. Typically the season starts in mid to late April and operates until early October. Neither tour operates during the months of November through March.
Q. Will I get soaking wet?
A. Every guest is issued a disposable plastic poncho to wear during the tour which will keep you reasonably dry. When the boat gets close to the Canadian Falls is where you will encounter the majority of mist. If you wish to stay dry simply move to another location on the boat where there is less mist.
Q. How long does the tour last?
A. The average tour lasts 15-20 minutes.
Q. What should I wear or bring with me?
A. Summer is for shorts and t-shirts. A pair of beach shoes or sneakers work fine but don’t wear anything you wouldn’t want to get damp. For Spring and Fall weather you need to dress appropriately for the local weather and just expect to get slightly damp. Usually you will have the ability to get great photos right up until you get close to the base of the Canadian Falls. Remember that even a slight mist on your camera lens will ruin any photo!
Q. Where do I purchase tickets and board the boat ride?
A. Tickets are available at the ticket window near the entrance to the ride on both sides of the border.
In Niagara Falls NY the boat ride is called The Maid of the Mist and the address is 1 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY. The entrance is located at the observation tower in Prospect Point Park.
In Niagara Falls Canada the boat ride is called Hornblower Niagara Cruises and the address is 5920 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON. Their entrance is in Queen Victoria Park less than a minute walk from the base of Clifton Hill.
Q. Where can I park my vehicle?
A. New York State offers paid parking in their lot which is less than a five minute walk to the Maid of the Mist ticket window. Nearby One Niagara Center usually has parking available for substantially less than the NY State run parking lot.
Hornblower Niagara requires you to park in one of the Niagara Parks paid parking lots and typically you will ride one of their shuttle busses to Queen Victoria Park. In every month but July and August you can typically find limited but free parking on the Niagara Parkway.
Q. I’m afraid of the water, is this ride safe?
A. Absolutely. There is no risk involved and our captains are the best!
Q. When do the boat rides below the Falls open for the season?
A. The opening date is dependent on the ice melting on nearby Lake Erie. Usually they start around the middle of the month of April. Previous opening dates: 4/12/2006, 5/9/2007, 5/2/2008, 4/23/2009, 4/10/2010, 5/4/2011, 4/12/2012, 4/19/2013, 5/10/2014,5/01/2015, 4/2/2016, 4/1/2017,4/27/2018, 5/15/2019.
2019 admission prices:
Hornblower Niagara Cruises: Adults $28.95 Children ages 6-12 $18.95 – taxes not included (Canadian dollars)
Maid of the Mist: Adults $19.25 Children ages 6-12 $11.25 – taxes not included (US dollars)
Pictured below is the location of both boat tour operators dock locations. The Maid of the Mist docks are located within Prospect Point Park in New York and Hornblower Niagara Cruises docks are accessible from Queen Victoria Park.