Daily departures for Niagara River jet boat rides to begin in Lewiston
As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday this summer, Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours will mark a significant milestone of its own: its 25th season taking passengers on action-packed rides through the whitewater of the Niagara River.
Following a mild winter and early spring, Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours kicked off the season on Saturday, April 22, offering jet boat rides a couple of weeks earlier than usual from its dock in Old Towne Niagara-on-the-Lake. Departures are set to begin on the U.S. side of the river in Lewiston on Saturday, April 29, and from Niagara Falls on Sunday, June 25.
"This is a really big year for us," Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours president John Kinney said. "With Canada's 150th coming up, Niagara is expecting a very strong summer for tourism. We're really excited to help thousands of visitors celebrate Canada's big day with a splash."
Over the past 25 years, Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours has grown steadily and invested heavily in innovative technology and amenities to help adventure-lovers experience the power of the Niagara River.
The company officially opened its doors to the public in 1992 with a single boat, taking passengers for thrilling whitewater rides from the mouth of the Niagara River in Niagara-on-the-Lake, through the Class 5 Devil's Hole rapids and to just below the powerful Niagara Whirlpool.
Twenty-five seasons later, Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours has a fleet of eight 50-passenger jet boats that take passengers on adrenaline-filled trips from three departure locations.
In the process, the company has earned a reputation as one of the top tourism attractions in the region. Last year, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp. named Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours one of seven must-do tourism attractions as part of the Ontario Signature Experience Series.
Passengers can choose between two types of trips: wet or dry. Guests in open-topped jet boats are guaranteed to return to the dock soaking wet, doused with gallons of water while their boat pilot powers them through the rapids at high speed and expertly spins them through the chop in a complete 360-degree turn. Passengers in the covered jet dome get the same thrill ride, minus the splash, and return as dry as they were at the outset.
Tours last approximately one hour. Along the way, tour leaders on the boats also give passengers highlights about the river's geology and history.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours has a sister company, Niagara Sunset Cruises, which offers tours aboard the Niagara Belle - a fully restored New Orleans-style paddle wheeler - for those who'd prefer to take in the sights of the Niagara River at a slower pace.
In addition to individual bookings, Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours offers special rates for corporate groups, family groups and local residents. More information about tour packages, rates and reservations can be found at www.whirlpooljet.com.