Hornblower Niagara Cruises opened its doors for a third season of thrilling passengers on its legendary boat tours into the mighty Niagara Falls. The attraction officially opened to the public on Friday, April 1, 2016.
“We’re ecstatic to announce the opening of our third year of operations in Niagara Falls,” said Terry MacRae, CEO of Hornblower. “We had a fantastic first two years with tremendous community and industry support. We look forward to another successful year in Niagara.”
Its inaugural season was a year of many firsts for Hornblower Niagara Cruises and the local tourist industry. The introduction of evening Falls Illumination Cruises and Falls Fireworks Cruises in the Niagara River provided visitors a whole new way to experience Niagara Falls, attracting more visitors and extending their average length of stay. Stronger than anticipated demand allowed the marine hospitality company to remain open well past the traditional October 24 end of season. Hornblower continued boat tour operations and hosted visitors from around the world through November 30 adding an additional five weeks to the Niagara tourist season. This was both a welcome delight for visitors to Canada and a huge benefit to local tourism stakeholders.
In 2015 Hornblower introduced all new land-based events in their Lower Landing Visitor Pavilion and private Event Tent. Nestled in the Gorge along the Niagara River shoreline Hornblower hosts private events of all sizes. Fully catered with fresh Niagara farm-to-table cuisine, the Hornblower pavilion is the ideal location for wedding receptions, corporate retreats or private parties, all framed by the incredible waterfalls of Niagara Falls. Hornblower also offers a unique way to experience the Falls with the Niagara Guardian now available for private charter. The 150-passenger open-air jet boat travels up the Niagara River to the base of the Horseshoe Falls, giving passengers a new and extraordinary perspective that only Hornblower Niagara Cruises can provide.
Following one of the coldest, longest winters on record and a late April 30, 2015 opening day that resulted, Hornblower carried over 1.8 million passengers into the heart of Niagara Falls exceeding targets for its 2nd consecutive year. Hornblower saw significant increases in the number of international visitors, in particular, from the U.S., China and Europe
With an early April 1 opening and operating through November 30, this year will be an historic milestone representing the longest boat tour operating season in history. As an iconic demand –generator for in-bound tourist visitation, Hornblower’s extended 2016 operating season will be a boon to the local tourism economy. Hornblower and Niagara Falls are also poised for significant increases in American visitors as a result of their favorable US / Canada currency exchange rate, lower gasoline prices, strong U.S. economic growth as well as the strong Hornblower brand across North America and around the world. Hornblower Niagara Cruises’ Sales & Marketing team travel internationally with the Destination Canada (Canadian Tourism Commission) and the OTMPC, the marketing arm of the Ministry of Tourism promoting Niagara Falls, Canada and the Hornblower experience to the world. Key markets include the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, India and Australia where Hornblower Niagara Cruises has already established strong brand loyalty and sales.
Hornblower’s marketing to core international markets through its unprecedented engagement with Destination Canada, provincial, regional and local tourism partners alike is seriously elevating the profile and appeal of not only the Niagara tourist region but also enhancing the compelling mix of iconic visitor experiences for Toronto, Ontario and indeed Canada. Hornblower Niagara Cruises will continue to be represented at major tourism events around the world.
The Niagara Parks Commission awarded Hornblower Niagara Cruises a 30-year contract to serve as its official boat tour operator after the company won an open procurement process. 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. As the largest passenger vessel company in North America, also operating the official tour boats to the Statue of Liberty in New York City and to Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, Hornbower is pushing the envelope in tourism offerings once again in Niagara Falls.
Hornblower is known throughout North America for innovative concepts and high quality standards of excellence in everything that we do,” said MacRae. 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 North America.