A boat tour called The Maid of the Mist starts off at the peaceful U.S. side of the Niagara River, near the Rainbow Bridge. All passengers wear complimentary rain ponchos as they pass the Bridal and American Veil Falls, before riding into the dramatic thick mist of spray inside the bend of the Canadian Falls. Then, with a newfound appreciation for the grandeur of Niagara Falls, the boat returns guests to the U.S. shore of the river. For more than 150 years, this attraction has been described by generations of tourists as the highlight of their trip.
The first Maid of the Mist was constructed at a landing near Niagara Falls on the American side of the border. It was christened as a border-crossing ferry, and its first trip took place on September 18th, 1846. At this time, the ferry could carry up to 100 passengers and did well until 1848, when the opening of a suspension bridge between Canada and the United States affected demand for the ferry crossing. This is when the owners decided to make a sightseeing trip out of it and to plot a journey closer to the Falls. Since its implementation, the Maid of the Mist has welcomed celebrities such as Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Michael Gorbachev and many more on board.
Maid of the Mist Boat Rides operate approximately from mid-May to the end of October, but the season may vary depending on the weather conditions.
What is the history of the Maid of the Mist boat rides?
Originally, the Maid of the Mist was a ferry that ran between borders in 1846 but was discontinued because of a newly-constructed suspension bridge. The ferry's owners turned to tourism, introducing sightseeing tours and later, the Maid of the Mist journeyed closer to the falls. The ride has become an attraction that has brought boat riders near the falls for more than 150 years. Show more
How close do the boats get to the waterfalls?
The Maid of the Mist boat rides take passengers near Niagara Falls to experience a close-up view of the Bridal and American Veil Falls. Then, the boats go into the misty spray inside the bend of the Canadian Falls. By getting as close as possible to the waterfalls, riders can enjoy a powerful and thrilling experience. Show more
Is a rain poncho provided during the ride?
A complimentary rain poncho is offered to each passenger before boarding the Maid of the Mist boat ride to counter the mist generated by the falls. Wearing the poncho is advisable, especially if the weather is sunny, to prevent getting soaked within minutes of starting the ride. Therefore, the poncho is an essential item provided to keep passengers relatively dry. Show more
What is the best time to visit Niagara Falls for Maid of the Mist rides?
The Maid of the Mist boat rides run from mid-May to the end of October, except when closed due to weather conditions. Thus, the best time to visit Niagara Falls for the boat rides is between May and October when the falls are at their best and the attraction is open. During this period, you can witness the magnificent views of the falls showcasing their full power and scenic beauty. Show more
Have any famous people visited Maid of the Mist boat rides in the past?
The Maid of the Mist boat rides have attracted various celebrities, including Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, and Michael Gorbachev over the years. It is a picturesque element Niagara Falls is famous for, with high-profile guests enjoying its beauty and exhilarating boat ride of the falls. The attraction's longstanding reputation of creating unforgettable memories of the falls is maintained through such visits. Show more