Hornblower extends season into December
Tour operator lost a month at season’s start
Hornblower Niagara Cruises will be extending its season into December for the second straight year.
Now in its fifth season operating on the Niagara River, the San Francisco-based company will stretch its season one more weekend, offering boat tours until Dec. 2. It caps a record-breaking season for the company, which got off to a late start in May because of ice build-up in the water.
Hornblower Niagara vicepresident and general manager Mory DiMaurizo says the company usually ends its season in late November, but based on weather and co-operation with Niagara Parks, the last two years have seen an opportunity to go longer. Last year, Hornblower’s season ended Dec. 4.
“The river typically never freezes before late January,” says DiMaurizio, adding any snow makes the boat ride more “picturesque.”
But pushing the season to New Year’s Eve or even into January isn’t in the plans yet.
“There does become a point of diminishing returns in respect to the weather. If you get too cold, it’s not a pleasant experience for those guests.”
Keeping with its regular schedule, the boat tours on Dec. 1 and 2 will run every half hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Hornblower operates two catamarans on the Niagara River, titled the Niagara Wonder and Niagara Thunder. Each boat offers unobstructed views, wifi and refreshment service.
DiMaurizio says Hornblower’s 2018 season is all the more impressive because it was delayed 35 days from its scheduled opening.
“One could only think about what it would have been had we had those extra 35 days.”
A Hornblower cruise ship makes it way to the Horseshoe Falls. The cruises will be extended until Dec. 2.