And, we had lots of company, several hundred in fact and most of then (including ourselves) got wet — VERY wet on the 30-minute Maid of the Mist tour of Niagara Falls. It's the most famous attraction other than the Falls, of course.
The Maid of the Mist operates from late spring to late October annually. The 80-feet long boats can hold over 500 passengers and have two 350-horsepower engines that carry the vessels against the powerful current. A recyclable souvenir raincoat is provided with the cost of admission as protection against the mist and spray. But, if you want to experience the full enjoyment of this ride and stand along the outside railing, you will get wet anyway.
The tour boats are named Maid of the Mist, followed by a different Roman numeral (the most recent one is VII). The boat starts off at a calm part of the Niagara River, near the Rainbow Bridge. Its route takes it past the American and Bridal Veil Falls, then into the dense mist of spray inside the basin of the Horseshoe Falls or Canadian Falls. The tour is accessible from either the Canadian or American side of the river.
It's one of North America’s oldest tourist attraction. The first Maid of the Mist was launched in May 1846 as a ferry service between the Canadian and American sides, pre-dating by two years the construction of the first Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge at the site. The ferry service business declined when the bridge opened as people crossed the Niagara River using the bridge instead of the ferry. By 1854, it was a tourist sightseeing attraction.The original coal-fired, wooden boat was replaced by the steel, diesel-powered ships. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world take this tour each year.
And now Grenville and I can be included in that count (this was our first trip to Niagara Falls). Grenville was really much more excited than he looks !
Just wondering — have YOU ever visited Niagara Falls ?