Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls
You can't go to Niagara and not do this ride. Don't know how much it cost because it was in an all-inclusive package. It was fun to queue up and get issued with the flimsy blue plastic spray guards. It turns out these are quite useful to keep your camera dry while you take pictures through the plastic. The boat trip itself is nothing specia but being so close to those awesome falls is quite spectacular, particularly when the mist is sweeping over the boat and you are very close to the horseshoe falls.
The Maid of the Mist made its maiden voyage in 1846. Since then it has taken countless tourists for a close up & wet view of the falls.
If you can, you must go on it. To protect you from the spray, you are given a blue waterproof to keep you dry. As you get closer to the heart of the falls , the roar becomes louder, the spray more intense & the water rougher. Despite your waterproof, you will get wet. This just adds to the magical unforgettable experience though.
There are a couple of booths for buying tickets - but some of them want to sell you an adventures pass for $39. You can buy a ticket for just Maid of the Mist ride for $14.50 if you look closer to the falls. The ride can be taken from either the Canadian or US side.
If you want to go to the Canadian side, be sure you take a passport. The Canadians are very careful about this and will ask many questions.
The falls cannot be seen well from the US side. The Canadian side has a carnival atomosphere, and most of the "other" attractions are pricey and inane. They can be safely avoided.
You can avoid $8 parking if you're willing to park a few blocks back from the river (on Kitchner St.). They take US or Can coins or credit cards, and it's a safe neighborhood. Parking there is $1.50 an hour. It takes about 2 hours for the Maid of the mist if the lines are "normal."
The experience was worth the $15; it offers an amazing experience and view of the falls. If your camera has auto focus, do not be surprised if it can't focus due to all the mist. Use manual mode.
The might of the falling water and the beauty of the Falls can only be realized at the base of the Falls from the top deck of a ferry.
The whole experience is best told by the pictures only.
Maid of the Mist is the name of the ferry that takes the passengers on deck closest to the Hosrseshoe and American Falls at the bottom of the gorge. Therefore, in essence, we can watch the Falls at their base unlike from the top of the gorge.
The entrance building to get to the Ferry is located 2 kms north of the Horseshoe Falls. The walk to this building can be time consuming, because we have to make our way through the crowd watching the Horseshoe Fall from the top of the gorge.
After buying the ticket, we descended into the gorge through a lift. Then we had a group photo taken of the entourage of 10 by the facilities and then walk through a covered path down to the Ferry itself. On the way we were handed raincoats according to various sizes (adults and children) that we had to wear before entering the ferry named Maid of the Mist.
Once the Maid reaches the American and then the Horseshoe Falls, it stays there for a while to let the passengers experience the Falls at a close range. However, this is a soaking wet experience.
In our case, the weather was really good and we thought that the Maid sailed too close to the Falls to enable us enjoy to the fullest.
Is the experience worth it? Absolutely yes was the consensus of our entourage.
The purpose of our visit was to view the Niagara Falls, both falls in fact the American Falls and the Canadian horseshoe falls.
We had viewed the falls from the land based observation decks which give an excellent view, you experience the "roar" and the spray but you generally only receive the aspect from above.
The Maid of The Mist tour takes you to the bottom of the falls, you approach from a kilometre away and as you get closer the excitement increases, the waters are getting rough, you are getting very wet and cameras are flashing as you come within 100 metres of the waterfall.
This is a memorable experience . Cost: Adult $14.50 Child (under 12) $8.50 Under 5 Free
This is one of those 'must do' things. Not only is it fun, but it's almost like taking part in a tradition. Unlike many attractions this one has stood the test of time.
The first 'Maid of the Mist was a side wheel steamboat ferry that ran from 1846 to 1854, then was replaced by a paddle wheel boat until 1860. Due to hard times the 'Maid' was sold, and did not return until 1885 under new ownership with a new boat. Maid of the Mist I was in truth the 3rd boat. Seven years later a 2nd boat was built.
Spring 1955 a fire destroyed both boats. By June of 1956 both were replaced and while they were the 5th & 6th maids, they were given the traditional names, Maid of the Mist I & II. In 1972 and 1976 two new larger boats were launched... the Maid III & IV. Maid III was used until 1997 and Maid IV is still in use today and can carry up to 300 passengers per trip. Maid V was added in 1983 and also hauls 300 passengers. In 1990 came an even larger boat... the Maid VI, only to be out done by the Maid VII that can hauls an easy 500 tourist at a time!
Sure you will have a 'bad hair day', but they do provide a cute little poncho for you to keep (included in the price of the ticket).
What they don't give you is something to protect your camera. For folks with a little camera, a plastic sandwich bag will do the trick. For those with SLR cameras and didn't bring their camera's rain coat... ask the maid at your hotel for one of those small plastic trash bags. (most hotels use clear ones). Place your camera in, lens facing the bottom of the bag. gently tear a hole the size of your len's width. then using either tape or your hood secure the bag to the end of the lens. Now you can carefully access the back of your camera through the top opening of the bag, while protecting the body & lens. However remember the front of the lens will get misted! Keep several lens cloths in your pocket to do a quick dry off. I was able to get several shots off at a time before needed to wipe off the lens.
Like many attractions discounts can be found. Tour packages, discount cards, and even coupons.
Full price is $12.50 from U.S. side and $14.50 on the Canadian side.
Another feature of our tour arranged through our Marriott Fallsview hotel, was the Maid of the Mist boat ride. Years ago when we visited the Falls, I was too afraid to venture out on the boat to see the Falls that close. This time however, with my husband and grandson in tow we decided this was something we wanted to do.
Our shuttle dropped us off and we joined a pulsing line of people wearing bright, blue rain slickers. We followed a walkway leading to the water and boarded the boat. People filled the two levels of our craft, jostling for the rail. We found places at the back of the boat and held on as we made our way to the Falls. First we passed the American side of the Falls where our guide pointed out Bridal Falls. Then we motored towards the larger Canadian Falls--a rainbow seemed to linger above the mist. It was beautiful!
The ride became windy and wet as the spray blew over us. It was amazing that we were actually this close to such a powerful creation! I was glad I did not miss it this time.
Hours of operation are April-October depending on the weather. Admission costs are $13.00 for Adults; $8 for children 6-12 and free for under 5.
Suspecting it was a cheesy tourist trap I was reluctant to go on this short boat trip. My mother however, would not leave without doing it so our little group made our way down there.
As you walk down the ramp to the boat you are given plastic ponchos to prevent yourself from getting soaked. If you brought non-water resistant cameras or other electronics with you, make sure they are UNDER this poncho, or you'll be sorry. If you are the type to get sea sick, good luck.
You will pass by the American side of the falls, then head towards the Horseshoe side. The boat gets pretty close to the falls and you can feel the engine straining against the current. The feeling of being so up close and personal with the majesty that is the falls is intense. Don't forget to look overboard and check out the weird texture of the water in this area. After a few minutes the boat will head back.
This is a nice thing to do if the day is particularly hot, as it will cool you right down again.
Get your rain gear on and board the MAID OF THE MIST. Feel the mist of the Falls spray your face - hear the rumble of the water and sense the vast power as the boat makes its way to the base of the American Falls. The boat then heads to the basin of the Horsehoe Falls.
We have been on the Maid of the Mist so many times. Everyone who comes to visit us has to see the Falls/ It's an awesome boat trip - one that I never tire of.
From the boat is the only way to know the true beauty of one of the world's natural wonders.
In operation since 1846, Maid of the Mist has both Canadian and American boarding points.
A powerful diesel-engined boat will take you from the Canadian docks or the American Dock at the bottom of the Observation Towerpast the base of the American Falls, then into the basin of the magnificent Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Operating from late April/early May (weather dependent) to October 24 each year, the Maid departs every 15 minutes. Two 600-passenger boats, Maids VI and VII, are each 80-feet long and have two 350-horsepower engines that carry the vessels against the powerful current. A recyclable souvenir raincoat is provided free with admission to help keep you dry from the mist and spray.
The first Maid of the Mist was launched in 1846 as a ferry service between the Canadian and American sides, pre-dating by two years the construction of the first suspension bridge at the site. However, with the opening of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge further downriver in 1848, the ferry service lost business, and by 1854, became a tourist attraction instead with the launch of a more luxurious boat.
Price is 12.50 US and 14.00 CAD
The Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist® operates during the warmer months from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
If there is one thing that you must do while at Niagara Falls, THIS IS IT! Maid of the Mist has been running since 1846 and I can see why. This is the best way to get up close and personal with the falls. To feel the incredible power at the bottom of Horseshoe Falls is really just an awesome, memorable experience!
The best way to see the waterfall is a boat ride. It leaves every 30 minutes from either U.S or Canada side. I usually is open from April to October. It might be a good idea to purchase a ticket from your travel agent or online to avoid the waiting time to get in.
This is a real must do ! its wet, chilly and the blue ponchos you are given to wear are definately not designer but its so exciting as you approach the falls and get covered in mist and spray
Getting so close to all the thundering water is thrilling .... but watch out for your cameras, the moisture plays havoc with them
the first Maid of the Mist was a steam boat operating from 1846 - 1854 and replaced the rowing boats which used to ferry people across the Niagara River, when a suspension bridge was opened in 1848 the owners switched from ferry to tourist trips to the base of the falls
The Maid of the Mist operates from April to October, 2006 prices were $14 Canadian for adults and $8.60 Canadaian for children, under 5s are free
I really liked the Maid of the Mist tour and it wasnt very pricey. You get to have a very close up view of the Falls and you can get very wet. I wasnt too impressed with the Journey Behind the Falls tour but this tour I really liked. I also felt it was worth the money.
I tried to keep my camera covered as much as possible because it wasnt water proof.
You get very close to the falls and sometimes it isnt a good thing because it get alittle hard to see with all the water splashing up on you, especially at the Horse Shoe Falls.
This is a part of the history of the falls. If you haven't done it, try it! They give you blue raincoat to protect your clothing. You can also stay inside the boat for a dryer look...hehe..
The children loved it, and would definately recommend it to families.