The Maid of the Mist is an interesting boat tour of Niagara Falls which takes you up to the plunge pool of one of the world’s greatest waterfalls and let’s you experience its roar and spray up close. The boat tour starts and ends on the American side of the Niagara River, near Rainbow Bridge, but crosses into Canada when it approaches Horseshoe Falls.
The original Maid of the Mist was christened in 1846 and served as a ferry connecting the Canadian and American sides of the Niagara River, part of a link between New York City and Toronto. It was a powered by steam generated from a wood/coal-fired boiler and could carry up to 100 passengers.
The ferry service did well for 2 years but a suspension bridge opened in 1848 and that greatly cut into ferry traffic. So the owners decided to change operations and make it a sight-seeing boat, an obviously successful plan. The company has changed ownership many times in the past 150 years and newer and improved boats have been put into service. Currently there are two Maid of the Mist boats, #VI and VII.
I’ve only been on the Maid of the Mist once, many decades ago. What I remember above all else is how wet we got — note everyone on the boat is wearing plastic rain ponchos (provided with your admission fee). And of course the roar of the falls drowns out all other sounds. The experience can’t be photographed as your lens is immediately coated with water.
- Adult: $19.25
- Child (ages 6-12): $11.20
- Ages 5 and Under: Free
Schedules fluctuate, depending on the season and conditions. For example, in thick fog the boats won’t run.
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