The Maid of the Mist is North America’s oldest tourist attraction since 1846. Ridden by dignitaries and celebrities such as Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbechev, a visit to the base of the falls is a priority for all who visit the region. It is said that you did not really visit Niagara Falls if you have not been on the Maid of the Mist boat tour!
After a hearty breakfast, we walked for a short while from Sheraton to the boarding dock at the north end of Queen Victoria Park, close to the Rainbow Bridge and Oakes Garden Theatre at the foot of the Clifton Hill tourist area. I was looking forward to experiencing the 30-minute world-famous thrill of a lifetime, particularly after seeing so many tourists queuing up as well. 😛
Ticket prices vary depending on whether you board at the American dock or Canadian dock, with the latter about $4 more expensive than the former. We were all given a recyclable Maid of the Mist poncho each to protect ourselves from the heavy mist during the boat tour and advised to use waterproof camera casings too. I didn’t prepare the waterproof camera casing but I still took photos anyway. Fortunately all went well! Hehe
It was truly an awesome, magnificent and spectacular experience for me! When the boat was approaching the waterfalls, particularly the Horseshoe Falls, I couldn’t really see what was ahead clearly. I just randomly took photos anyhow although the vision was blur due to the mist. It was great that the photos still turned out so beautiful and captured those moments. 🙂
Anyway, some facts about this boat tour for your information: the Maid of the Mist operates only from late April or early May to late October every year and departs every 15 minutes during this period. 2 600-passenger boats, Maids VI and VII, are each 80-feet (24m) long and have 2 350-horsepower engines that carry the vessels against the powerful current. They will take you from the Canadian docks past the base of the American Falls, then into the basin of the magnificent Horseshoe Falls and back to the docks within half an hour.
After the tour, we arrived at the Maid of the Mist Plaza, where there are gift shops and fast food outlets. We bought several souvenirs at the gift shop and also purchased our digital photos taken at the Welcome Centre which was against the Niagara Falls backdrop (day and night view – 2 nicely framed-up photos for CAD30=S$37). They said that Niagara Parks has operated without tax dollars since 1885, and the money we spent there helps preserve the nature and heritage of the Falls and the Niagara River corridor. So looks like we did a good deed hehe!
Finally, just my 2-cents worth… You must take this Maid of the Mist tour if you go to Niagara Falls, definitely no regrets after taking! 😉