Niagara Day Tour Blog
Hornblower Cruises Announces Opening Date for 2017
The Hornblower Niagara Cruise has officially announced it will be opening in 2017 on its original target opening date of Saturday April 1st. Every year the opening date fluctuates due to weather conditions and specifically how cold the winter has been and at what rate the ice is melting on the Niagara River around the Falls.
This winter has been a relatively mild winter and after researching and testing the conditions Hornblower has been given clearance to start taking passengers on April 1st for tours.
This has come as welcome news for tourists visiting the area and also Hornblower staff who are preparing for another busy season.
Hornblower will be operating scenic cruises every 30 minutes during the day from April 1st to May 12th and every 15 minutes during the day between May 13th and October 31st. Then back to every 30 minutes in November pending the weather conditions.
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE to become potential UNESCO World Heritage Site
Niagara-on-the-Lake is considering officially getting the ball rolling to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But there is discussion from representatives such as town councillors about what the costs could be to launch the process.
Niagara-on-the-Lake has appointed a local UNESCO committee to research the feasibility of an application to be placed on a tentative list with Parks Canada and has given them a $30,000 budget for the application process and research.
The areas being discussed for the application include the Niagara-on-the-Lake township and land area along the Niagara River from the Old Town to Queenston Heights as they are rich in historic and cultural significance.
Some of the committee members believe the UNESCO designation will increase the volume of tourists to the area and well as drawing in well-educated tourists who will stay longer in the area and spend more money – boosting the local economy. Also it is believed that it would boost higher real estate values particularly inside the UNESCO zone.
Niagara-on-the-Lake already draws in an estimated 2.5 – 3 million tourists per year. It is a very popular stop for tourists to stop in to admire the colonial architecture and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the quant little town which is often referred to as the prettiest town in Canada.
Niagara Day Tour stops in Niagara-on-the-Lake for 1 hour during the tour giving tourists plenty of time to explore the old town and Niagara River mouth and enjoy the area. Most other tour companies will only stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake for 30 – 45 minutes.
SANTA CLAUS PARADE IN NIAGARA FALLS
The Niagara Falls annual Santa Claus Parade was on Saturday November 19th.
It started out as a nice day but ended in pouring rain whilst Santa and his reindeer marched along Queen Street in the city centre. Regardless of the weather there was a great turnout to the parade and many smiling happy kids waiting patiently to see the jolly man in red. The parade featured stilt walkers, superheroes, marching bands, large floats and Santa himself as the grand finale.
During the parade, Canada Post collected letters to Santa while Project Share collected food donations. The parade started on Victoria Avenue at 11am and worked its way along Queen Street eventually finishing at city hall.
Niagara Floral Clock
The Niagara Parks Floral Clock is one the most photographed and widely recognised attractions in the Niagara area.
Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors call in to see this impressive sight which is situated on the Niagara Parkway about 10 kilometers out of Niagara Falls city. It is one of the largest floral clocks in the world measuring in at around 30 feet (12.5 metres) in diameter.
In the peak summer months it boasts a staggering 15 thousand flowers and arrangements in the display. There are numerous photographs and images of it all over the internet with its colourful and vibrant displays.
What a lot of people don’t know is that the Floral clock does change its appearance drastically over the colder and harsh Canadian winter months. The colourful flowers succumb to the snow and ice and below freezing temperatures and generally die out leaving a shell of what once was.
Every spring when the weather warms up the old display from the previous year is completely dug up and gardeners work tirelessly to plant and build a new display for the coming summer. We happened to see the floral clock in mid April during this transitional stage and caught a rare photograph the floral clock half completed.
If you would like to see the Floral Clock in person Niagara Day Tour stop at it every day throughout the summer on our award winning tour.
Hornblower to open early in 2016
Hornblower Niagara Cruises have just confirmed they will be starting their season early in 2016 with an official opening date of April 1st – the earliest date they have ever opened.
The mild winter temperatures and lower than normal ice coverage on the Great Lakes have made an early opening date possible to the delight of staff and tourists alike. Hornblower have run this iconic 20 minute cruise up the Niagara River to the base of the Falls since taking over operations from the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company in 2014.
Weather permitting the Hornblower boat ride will operate every day until October/November carrying hundreds of thousands of tourists eager to experience the thrilling ride and see the Falls up close and experience the natural spray of this powerful spectacle.
If you would like to experience this in person you can book now on our reservation page.
See Previous Posts - Niagara Day Tour Blog 2015
Previously, the Maid of the Mist steamboat company lost its contract to operate on the Canadian side of the Niagara River with its final sailing on October 31st 2013. It was the end of an era for this world famous and iconic tourist attraction which had long been the number one activity in Niagara Falls, Canada.
Read more about this and see previous Niagara Falls blog posts here.
Hornblower began operations on May 15th 2014 and they continue to thrill visitors with this wet and wild attraction today.
Reserve your Niagara Falls day trip from Toronto here.