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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hornblower Niagara Cruises opens for its inaugural season

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – Hornblower Niagara Cruises’ inaugural season of ferrying passengers along the Niagara River to experience the beauty of Niagara Falls up close has officially opened.

A ribbon-cutting event at the newly constructed Hornblower Ticket Plaza on the Niagara Parkway, kicked off the tour company’s ticket sales in Niagara Falls.

Now, Hornblower Niagara Cruises’ two state-of-the-art tour boats have officially started taking visitors along the Niagara River up to the base of the Horseshoe Falls.

“We are thrilled to finally be open in Niagara Falls,” said Terry MacRae, CEO of Hornblower. “Our team and the Niagara Parks Commission have been working incredibly hard over the past two years preparing for opening day and we couldn’t be happier with the final outcome. Our partnership with the Niagara Parks Commission has been a true partnership, working hand in hand to create the best possible tourism experience in Canada.”

After an open procurement process, the Niagara Parks Commission awarded Hornblower Niagara Cruises a 30-year contract in February 2012 to serve as its official boat tour operator. Hornblower is the only company on the Canadian side of the Niagara River permitted to operate the iconic boat tours to the Bridal Veil, American and Horseshoe Falls.

“We are very fortunate here today in the city of Niagara Falls. It’s Canada’s most recognized city by far, and when you bring great brands together it just rises the tide that rises all boats and I think that’s a great analogy of what is about to happen today,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati. “This has been a long time coming and we finally made it.” 

Hornblower Niagara Cruises made a significant investment into the newly constructed tourist attraction to deliver a truly once in a lifetime experience for the millions of visitors that travel to see the falls up close. 

“Hornblower is to be applauded for the significant investments and commitment they have made to the tourism industry here in Niagara,” said Janice Thomson, Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission. “We look forward to working with them in the days and years ahead in fulfilling the exciting vision we both share for this new boat tour service and what it means to visitors to Niagara Parks.”

As the largest passenger vessel company in North America, also operating the official tour boats to the Statue of Liberty and Alcatraz Island, Hornblower is pushing the envelope in tourism offerings once again by introducing evening tours for visitors looking for more options than just the daytime Voyage to the Falls. 

In addition to the daily trips to the Falls, which are scheduled to begin at 7:45a.m. every day, Hornblower will be launching a Sunset Cocktail Cruise, Falls Illumination Cruise and Falls Firework Cruise. Now you’ll be able to watch Canada’s longest running fireworks series from the base of the Falls while sipping champagne on a warm summer night.

“Hornblower is known throughout North America for innovative concepts and high quality standards of excellence in everything that we do,” said MacRae. “We know the public will enjoy the new products and services that we will be delivering for the first time in the gorge, including private charters of the boats.”

As well as the evening cruise options, Hornblower is also introducing a unique way to view the falls with the Niagara Guardian now available for private charter and special events. The 150 passenger open-air jetboat travels up the Niagara River to the base of the Horseshoe Falls, giving passengers a new and unique experience that only Hornblower Niagara Cruises can provide.

For land-based events, the Hornblower Visitor Pavilion is available for private events of all sizes. Located on the Hornblower docks at the shoreline of the Niagara River, the pavilion is the perfect spot for wedding receptions, corporate retreats or private parties, all framed by the incredible waterfalls of Niagara Falls.

To get passengers safely to and from the mighty Horseshoe Falls, Hornblower Niagara Cruises built its two custom tour boats in Canada during this past winter. 

The two catamarans were specifically designed to maximize the viewing experience, featuring tiered decks for 360-degree unobstructed outdoor viewing of the three waterfalls that make up The Falls and dry viewing areas for passengers who’d rather have a window between themselves and the spray of the falls. Both boats also offer restrooms and refreshments on board.

Operating public boat tours and charter excursions for more than 30 years, Hornblower has earned a reputation as the most experienced, versatile and accomplished maritime company in the United States.

About Hornblower Niagara Cruises:
Hornblower Canada Co., operating as Hornblower NiagaraCruises, will be the official boat tour operator of boat tours to the waterfalls of Niagara Falls beginning in 2014 in partnership with The Niagara Parks Commission, an Operational Enterprise Agency of the Canadian Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Providing early morning, afternoon, evening, falls illumination and fireworks boat tours to one of the world’s natural wonders, Hornblower Niagara Cruises will deliver an unforgettable experience to its guests in Niagara Falls, Canada. Hornblower Niagara Cruises is part of the Hornblower Family of Companies – a leader in marine hospitality with locations throughout North America. For more information please visitwww.niagaracruises.com.

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