Getting wet in Niagara Falls is inevitable, and an adventurous option for groups, which requires no barrel over the falls, can be found at Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours.
The company offers rides aboard a wet jet, an open boat that can seat up to 54 passengers, and a jet dome, an enclosed boat seating up to 40. The boats leave from Niagara Falls, Ontario; Lewiston, New York; and, in 2020, from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The operating locations have free bus parking and options to purchase food and beverages.
The fully guided boat tours plunge groups into the history of the Niagara Gorge, the falls, and the War of 1812 while they take in the beautiful scenery.
“Our highly trained staff operates our boats with triple turbo diesel water jet systems, a design that is incredibly reliable and safe, and also delivers a fun and exhilarating ride,” says Mary Lefebvre, social media and communications assistant for the U.S. side.
The rides begin on the lower Niagara River, move through the gorge and into the Niagara Whirlpool and Class V whitewater rapids—appropriately named Devil’s Hole—at 88 kilometers/55 miles per hour.
“Over the past 12,000 years, the turbulent currents from Niagara Falls have carved out an 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) gorge, and this is the water playground for our fleet of eight boats,” Lefebvre says.
The company plans to launch a new boat at the end of the season called the Freedom Jet, which will offer both experiences, with 14 wet seats and 48 dry seats. All tours are 45 minutes long, and splash gear is provided. The company recommends that riders bring a change of clothes, a towel, and footwear with a back strap.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours offers special rates for tour operators with groups of 10 people or more. Scheduled departures are set every day for both the U.S. and Canada locations, but Lefebvre says they are likely to open more trips for big groups. The season normally goes from May to October.
Photos by Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours