Niagara Falls boat cruises set sail with earliest opening date ever


Published March 15, 2023 at 12:38 pm

Traditionally, Niagara City Cruises doesn’t start its weekend runs through the Niagara Gorge until early April.

However, the company, owned by Hornblower Cruises and Events, is starting their weekend (Thursday to Sunday) boat rides with the earliest opening date in its recorded history, beginning tomorrow (March 16).

The reason for the early spring opening is simply this – an unusually warm February.

The season hinges on the removal of the ice booms at the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Erie, which are set up every winter to restrict the ice flow into the river.

Those booms, set up to stop ice that can damage property and reduce waterflow that is generating hydroelectricity, are usually pulled off the lake at the end of March. This year, due to the lack of ice on the lake, they were yanked by the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation on March 2.

In essence, that means ships ahoy a month ahead of schedule.


“This is a historic event for boat tours to the base of Niagara Falls marking the earliest on record that Niagara City Cruises has ever operated; and going back before our time, there is no recorded opening of the Niagara Falls boat tours operating as early as March,” says Mory DiMaurizio, Chief Operating Officer of City Cruises in Canada.

“2023 is our comeback year, and we are excited to be able to welcome both locals and tourists alike to the iconic destination, and this year, be part of families’ March Break to enjoy during their time here in the Niagara region.”

The Niagara City Cruises sailing schedule for March from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. are March 16 to 19 and March 24 to 26. Daily service will now begins March 31 with tours to the base of the Falls running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. while expanded summer operating hours start May 1.

Ticket prices are $32.75 for adults, $22.75 for kids aged three to 12 and infants under two are free. Tickets are available at the Niagara City Cruises Main Ticket Plaza at 5920 Niagara River Parkway.

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