Overview of the history of the Boat Ride:
The Maid of the Mist Boat Ride started as a ferry service between the USA and Canada in 1846 and nowadays replaced by luxurious boats. The tour is in Niagara Falls.
This boat ride operates from the American side not from the Canadian one. It used to be available in Canada, but currently there is a new tour operator in Canada known as Hornblower Niagara Cruises. So it is recommended not to buy your tickets for Maid of the Mist for Canada.
Niagara Falls are located at the boarders between the USA (the state of New York) and Canada (province of Ontario). They consist of three water falls, so the name Niagara Falls is a collective name for the three of them, which are the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. The American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls are located at the American side whereas the Horseshoe Falls are located mostly at the Canadian side.
There are two main international bridges that connect the cities of the Niagara Falls (the state of New York in the USA and the province of Ontario in Canada) which are the Rainbow Bridge and Whirlpool Rapids Bridge.
Niagara Falls are considered as one of the most beautiful natural wonders in North America.
The ride into the Mist is considered one of North America’s oldest tourist attraction where millions of visitors enjoyed the boat rides since 1846.
The boat tours operate from late April/early May (depending on the weather) to October 24th from each year (extended to October 31st in the year 2014) and the boat departs every 15 minutes.
The passenger boats are huge and operate by very powerful diesel engines. There are two boats that can carry up to 600 passengers and they are called Maid VI and Maid VII. Each of which is 24 meters long with 350 horse power engine that can move against the powerful currents.
The admission to the Maid of the Mist is included in the Niagara Falls Discovery Pass that departs from the Niagara Reservation State Park.
The Boat Ride:
The ride starts from a calm part of Niagara river close to the Rainbow Bridge taking the passengers across American and Bridal Veil Falls and then inside the curve of the Horseshoe Falls. The Maid of the Mist Boat Ride concludes with a self-guided climb over the Crow’s Nest staircase. This allows visitors of the Crow’s Nest to feel as if they are literally climbing over the rainbow especially on sunny days and you can get the best scene after sun rise or before sun set. This is one of the most marvelous scenes a person could ever watch in his/her entire life. A scene of a rainbow ring with many smaller rainbow arches over the rocks with the water cascading around you. So prepare your camera for photos and videos for the most legendary scene you will ever watch.
It is a 30 minute unforgettable tour where you will be crashing waters that are surrounded by massive rock formations so you will be experiencing the most powerful waterfall in the world. Also, there are observation elevators offering a dramatic view for the falls. The elevators can descend in the boat dock. There is also easy access for physically challenged people.
Passengers are provided with a souvenir which is a recyclable rain coat for free with the admission to help keep the passengers dry from the spray and the mist and also to keep their properties especially the electronic ones like cameras and mobile phones dry.
By the end of the boat ride, passengers enter the Maid of the Mist Plaza that has a gift shop where you can buy gifts for your friends or relatives and also buy souvenirs for the day you will never forget and that will be one of the most remarkable days of your life.
Dining at the Niagara Falls:
There are a lot of dining options at the Niagara Falls state park where you can have a delicious meal by the end of your journey or you can dine at the restaurant “Top of the Falls” offering very delicious plates, so whether you prefer to have a classic dinner, sandwiches, snacks, ice cream or just a cup of coffee or any other drink; you will find what you need while enjoying the amazing view.
Ticket prices for the Maid of the Mist boat ride:
The prices can vary from one year to another. The prices for the year 2014 are as follows:
– Adult ticket: 17 US dollars
– Child ticket ( from 6 to 12 years old): 9.90 US dollars
– Child ticket ( 5 and under for only children accompanying their parents): No charge
The price also includes 1 US dollar for the cost of the elevator per person which is essential to be able to reach the landing and where physically challenged persons have also accessible landing.
There are many websites on the internet providing details about boat ride for the Maid of the Mist where you can plan your journey, contact the tourism company and get details about the best timing, the schedule, the prices, the payment method and any advice related to the trip.