Everything you need to know about Niagara Falls and Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Fun facts and figures at a glance.
Hornblower Niagara Cruises, the official and only Boat Tour operator for the Niagara Parks in Niagara Falls, Canada. Learn more about Niagara FallsHornblower Niagara Cruises and what makes Hornblower an industry leader in its commitment to the environment.

About Niagara Falls

Q: Where is Niagara Falls, Canada located?

A: Niagara Falls is located along the international border between USA and Canada. While the biggest of the three waterfalls, the Horseshoe Falls (also referred to as the Canadian Horseshoe Falls) is mostly in the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada (situated on western bank of the Niagara River). The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are located entirely in Niagara Falls, New York (situated on the eastern bank of Niagara River). The best panoramic views of the Falls can be enjoyed from the Canadian side.

Approximate distance to Niagara Falls, Canada from major cities.

  1. Buffalo, NY ~ 25 miles
  2. Toronto, ON, Canada ~ 130 km
  3. New York, NY – 420 miles
  4. Chicago, IL – 525 miles
  5. Ottawa, ON, Canada – 580 km
  6. Montreal, ON, Canada – 670 km

Q: What international borders are close to Niagara Falls, Canada and Hornblower Niagara Cruises?

Rainbow Bridge: 2 minutes
Queenston-Lewiston Bridge: 5 minutes
Whirlpool Bridge: 5 minutes
Peace Bridge: 30 minutes

Q: What are the closest international and regional airports to Niagara Falls, Canada?

A: Five (5) international and regional airports are located within an hour drive;

Canadian Side:

  • John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM): 45 minutes
  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ): 1 hour
  • Lester B. Pearson Toronto International Airport (YYZ): 1 hour

American Side:

  • Niagara Falls International Airport (IAG): 20 minutes
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF): 30 minutes

Q: What is the nearest train station in Niagara Falls, Canada?

A: The train station at Niagara Falls VIA station is located 4267 Bridge Street, Niagara Falls. The station is located near Whirlpool Bridge, ~2km from Hornblower Niagara Cruises.

  • Via/Amtrak offers train service from New York to Toronto, with stops at Niagara Falls.
  • GO Train offers service from Toronto departing from Union Station and stopping at Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls.

Q: What is the best way to get around Niagara Falls Attractions?

A: The WEGO bus system connects accommodations and tourism attractions throughout the city of Niagara Falls and Niagara Parks, with frequent drop-offs/pick-ups near Hornblower Niagara Cruises. The Table Rock Visitor Centre located directly in front of Horseshoe Falls is the main transfer hub for WEGO.

More about Niagara Falls:

  • Niagara Falls is approximately 12,000 years old.
  • The Falls were formed when melting glacier waters flowed from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and carved out a river in their descent. The river passed over the steep Niagara escarpment and began to erode its way back, leaving behind what is known today as the Niagara Gorge. Niagara Falls erodes back approximately 1 foot/year.
  • Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls: the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
  • The word Niagara comes from the Mohawk word “Onguiaahra”. Many believe “Onguiaahra” means “Thunder of Waters” and was used to describe the beauty and power that is Niagara Falls.
  • The Niagara River flows north about 58 kilometres and is a connecting channel between two Great Lakes, Erie and Ontario.
  • More than 168,000 cubic metres of water goes over the crestline of the Falls every minute during peak daytime tourist hours.
  • Niagara Falls is 57 metres tall.
  • The crest line of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls is approximately 670 metres wide.
  • The crest line of the American Falls is approximately 260 metres wide.
  • The rapids above the Falls reach a maximum speed of 40 km/hr, with the fastest speeds occur at the Falls themselves at 109 km/hr.
  • The foam that forms in the basin below Niagara Falls is a natural result of tons of water plummeting into the depths below. The foam’s brown colour comes from clay, which contains suspended particles of decayed vegetative matter.
  • The Niagara River’s vibrant green colour comes from the dissolved salts and “rock flour” picked up primarily from the limestone bed but probably also from the shale and sandstone under the limestone cap at the falls. An estimated 60 tons of dissolved minerals are swept over Niagara Falls every minute.

About Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Q: Where does Hornblower Niagara Cruises operate from?

A: Hornblower Niagara Cruises is the official and only boat tour operator in Niagara Falls, Canada and shares the international waterways with an American Boat Tour operator from Niagara Falls, NY.

Q: How many years has Hornblower Niagara Cruises operated in Niagara Falls, Canada?

A: Hornblower Niagara Cruises inaugural sailing was on May 16, 2014 and March 28, 2020 marks the start of our 7th operating season – the earliest opening ever.

Q: What is Hornblower Niagara Cruises’ operational season?

A: Hornblower Niagara Cruises operates 7-days a week seasonally from early Spring (opening dates are weather permitting) until the end of November.

Q: How many visitors does Hornblower Niagara Cruises host each year?

A: As Canada’s most memorable visitor experience, the Niagara Falls boat tour operation hosts millions of visitors a year. Delivering amazing experiences to over 12.5 million guests since launching in May 2014 through to the end of the 2019 season. In 2019, Hornblower Niagara Cruises welcomed over 2.3 million visitors.

Q: What is the optimal time to visit Niagara Falls and Hornblower Niagara Cruises?

A: Anytime is a good time to visit Niagara Falls. Peak hours for Hornblower Niagara Cruises are between 11 AM and 3 PM, while the summer months of July & August (peak season) is at its busiest. If you are able to pick a particular season, choose from mid-May to mid-June or early-September to mid-October so that you can enjoy all the attractions with less crowds and more comfortable weather.

Q: How many boats does Hornblower Niagara Cruises have in its fleet?

A: Hornblower Niagara Cruises has three (3) vessels;

Niagara Wonder and Niagara Thunder, both catamarans, have two parallel hulls of equal size and derives its stability from its wide beam. The vessels’ steel hull provides strength; while its aluminum superstructure saves on weight. This boat design makes Wonder and Thunder more navigable through water, provides better fuel efficiency, and creates a calmer experience to our guests as they immerse themselves in the grandeur of the Niagara River.

  • Double Stack Catamaran Tour Boat
  • Capacity: 700 passengers
  • Engine: 2 x 450 BHP @ 1800 RPM Scania DI13

Our charter boat, Niagara Guardian, also serves as our rescue boat. It has a lightweight aluminum hull and a jet drive propulsion, providing it with power and strength.

  • Private Charter Jet Boat
  • Capacity: 140 passengers
  • Engine: 2 x 684 BHP @ 1800 RPM Scania DI13-076M

Q: What types of boat tours do Hornblower Niagara Cruises offer?

A: Hornblower Niagara Cruises offers two (2) amazing experiences: the 20-minute daytime Voyage to the Falls Boat Tours and the 40-minute evening Falls Fireworks Cruises.

Q: How close does the boat get to the Canadian Horseshoe Falls?

A: The Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour sailing before sunset will travel as far as 25 m (80 feet) to the Horseshoe Falls providing a full-mist experience.

Q: What is the difference between Full-Mist and Light-Mist experiences?

A: Before sunset, our Full-Mist Voyage to the Falls Boat Tours sail into the heart of the Horseshoe Falls. While our Light-Mist experiences sail after sunset up to the brink of the Horseshoe.

Q: Are the red ponchos recyclable?

A: The complimentary ponchos are 100% recyclable and later manufactured to produce new plastic recyclable products. We respect our planet, protect and conserve the natural resources and ecosystems on which our business depends.

Q: How many Falls Fireworks Cruises are there per year?

A: Hornblower Niagara Cruises is a proud supporter of the Niagara Falls Fireworks and will operate 114 Falls Fireworks Cruises in 2020. On select dates from May 15th and running until October 12th.

Q: Are the Boats and Attraction Grounds wheelchair accessible?

A: Yes, our attraction and boats are wheelchair accessible.

Q: Are your vessels Transport Canada certified?

A: Yes, all Hornblower Niagara Cruises Vessels are Transport Canada certified and inspected annually to adhere to strict safety regulations. All our Marine crew participate in regularly scheduled safety drills on each vessel.

Learn about Hornblower Niagara Cruises environmental initiative:

  • At Hornblower Niagara Cruises we are committed to respecting our crew, guests, and the natural environment. Through our integrated health & safety, quality and environmental management system, we strive to serve you better and leave the planet a better place than when we began.
  • Some of the environmental commitments made by Hornblower Niagara Cruises include:
    • Recycling 100% of our complimentary red ponchos.
    • Green Procurement Practices (Battery Recycling, Pen Recycling, Retrofitted LED Lighting, Plastic Straw Ban, Food Packaging from Biodegradable Products).
    • Printing materials such as Property Brochures on FSC certified paper from responsible sources, while migrating to digital version distribution.
    • Installation of energy efficient XLERATOR hand dryers that reduce paper towel waste.
    • Offering a broader Online Ticketing System / Mobile App with Mobile Tickets.
    • Operating clean-burning, efficient biodiesel Tier 3 Scania engines on our vessels.
    • Educating employees and visitors on Hornblower Niagara Cruises environmental activities and programs.
  • Hornblower Niagara Cruises has made a dedicated effort to reduce its environmental impact, which has paid off with a Gold certification from Sustainable Tourism 2030. The sustainability certification program for tourism operators recognizes their actions and commitment to sustainability with third-party verification and recommendations. This, in return, provides a consistent and credible message to travelers and locals alike.
  • Hornblower Niagara Cruises was awarded the City of Niagara Falls Environmental Award in 2019- this award is presented to those citizens, groups, businesses, industry or organizations residing or working in the City of Niagara Falls who have made a significant contribution toward the protection or enhancement of the City’s environment.
  • These efforts have helped Hornblower Niagara Cruises achieve an 88% waste diversion rate.