|WEAR||Comfortable clothing, dress for weather conditions. Bring change of clothes.|
| OPTIONAL ADDONS
(added during Checkout)
Doing Niagara Falls PROPERLY – a “Stunning Niagara” Day Tour
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|There is a LOT of mist in the air when the boat is close to the Falls. Unless your camera is waterproof, you should make sure it is safely wrapped up.|
Congrats on planning an Executive-class tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls!
Nobody forgets the first time they encounter Niagara Falls. Because the Falls are REALLY, REALLY BIG.
If you’ve seen the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest or the Aurora Borealis, then you know that sense of being magnificently dwarfed by nature. Even in this short Niagara Falls video, you can feel the awe of the people on the Hornblower cruise boat:
I love a great sommelier. When I go to a quality restaurant, I look forward to being entertained, educated and even enthralled by a wine expert who is in love with their trade. I love hearing about the history of the wine, where it came from, the makers, the grape types and even the weather conditions as the grapes grew. I like being advised by an expert what to look for in the aroma and taste so that I can appreciate a fine wine in the way that it deserves.
A top sommelier can transform a $10 bottle of wine into a $100 experience. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
Once I was in Amsterdam with a friend and we went to dinner at a Michelin rated restaurant. The sommelier came out and he really knew a lot about wine. But wow, he was boring! He droned on and on and wouldn’t even look us in the eye while he was droning. The wine was meant to be great, but the way he shared it with us almost ruined it. The only thing I now remember about that wine is how badly it was presented.
There are plenty of ways to see Niagara Falls. You could drive there yourself, fly there, catch a bus or even take a different tour. But, like a fine wine, Niagara Falls is most enjoyed, valued and appreciated when it is PROPERLY understood and experienced.
And it is our delight to take the role of “sommelier” and bring you on a day-long pilgrimage – our “Executive Day Tour” – so that you can FULLY enjoy and appreciate Niagara Falls, as the Falls deserve.
We will open up the history, the stories, the sights and experiences of Niagara Falls and the area that it calls home. Niagara Falls is not an isolated geographical anomaly; it is part of an entire region. Like a fine wine, understanding, experiencing and enjoying the context allows you to understand, experience and enjoy the Falls fully.
Niagara Falls is like a $10,000 bottle of “life-experience wine”. We won’t slop it into a disposable plastic cup for you; Niagara Falls MUST be done PROPERLY.
The tour is designed as an Executive-Class, Niagara Falls 5-senses experience; Feel, Hear, Taste, Smell and See.
As you board the Hornblower Niagara Falls cruise boat you are given a free plastic poncho. And that is for a very good reason.
You are going to get WET.
Every second, 85,000 cubic feet (2,400 m3) of water pours over the edge and falls 188 feet (57 m). The sheer magnitude of this drop generates an incredible amount of spray and the Hornblower takes you in. Right in. So close that it’s scary (but safe).
The Hornblower Cruise is included in the tour and is open from April to October (more info here).
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|That poncho isn’t going to keep you completely dry! Wear clothes that will dry quickly or bring a change of clothes.|
The huge volume of falling water is constantly shaking the surrounding earth. You will actually FEEL the thundering vibrations on the Journey Behind the Falls (optional tour addon).
An elevator takes you 150 feet (45m) down through the bedrock, then you walk through 130-year-old tunnels (which some describe as “slightly creepy”), bringing you to the Great Falls Portal and the Cataract Portal. You can then stand on the Upper and Lower Observation Decks at the base of the Falls and soak in the view (pun intended).
It’s rarely studied in depth, but it is important in a day-long tour; the FEEL of your tired backside on a comfortable, luxury seat in our executive transportation. Enough said.
As the water pours over the Falls, it doesn’t do it quietly. It roars. It’s about 90 decibels loud, which is about as loud as standing next to a petrol lawnmower.
For people who don’t like loud things, well……too bad. We will do whatever we can to look after you on tour, but there’s not much we can do about that.
Thankfully our guides are not as loud as Niagara Falls or lawnmowers, but you will be entertained, educated and even enthralled; like being served by a world-class sommelier.
While to-the-point, we really liked this review:
“Our guide did just the right amount of commentary. He gave good info where it was needed and stopped when it wasn’t – unlike so many other tours where they never shut up.”
Your Fellow Travellers have also described the guides:
“easy style”, “gave very valuable advice”, “quirky”, “genuinely interested in us”, “deep knowledge”, “care and friendship made the day special”, “clear and concise”, “lively and entertaining”, “accommodating”, “friendly but not in your face”.
As we make stops at each sightseeing destination, you will be fascinated as your guide shares their local knowledge. From the workings of the Niagara River hydroelectric power stations to the history of the largest Floral Clock in the World. From the stories of the Battle of Niagara to facts about the World’s Smallest Chapel. From the geography of the Whirlpool Rapids and even to negotiating a discounted helicopter ride for you!
If you stick out your tongue while cruising into the mist on the Hornblower, you will taste the Falls, but if you are looking for something tastier than water vapour, read on.
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|We visit almost all of the regional attractions, but every tour varies depending on weather, traffic etc. You can help our guides design the perfect day by letting them know any attractions you especially want to see. And don’t worry, we never miss the Falls!|
While not quite as famous as the Falls, the Niagara region’s Icewine is a worldwide leader. The cold winter combined with warmer days provides the perfect climate for the wine harvest. The result is a sweet, refreshing and bold dessert wine. You can decide that for yourself though, as we stop at a winery for a free tasting (which is a fascinating visit in its own right).
Hooray! It’s lunch at the Fallsview Restaurant! You will be pretty hungry by lunchtime and eating here is a bit of a treat. The restaurant is on the Penthouse level of the Sheraton Hotel and looks directly over the Niagara Falls. Very relaxing.
This is how Fallsview describes their lunch:
“The buffet features specially prepared culinary delights that combine the freshest of ingredients in a display of taste and talent. Each made to tempt your palette as you take in the view. A relaxing ambiance enhanced by inviting aromas, and attentive staff, the Fallsview Buffet is ideal for a family get together, meeting a business client, or simply enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
This is how we describe their lunch:
“Really, really good.”
On a practical note, all dietary needs are catered for as the buffet gives you lots of choice and the Fallsview buffet is an optional tour addon.
Ice-cream. Yup, believe it or not, there is actually pretty good ice-cream at Niagara Falls. You can get a gelato burger, stracciatella, or something simpler like soft serve or frozen yoghurt. Just ask our trusty guides and they will direct your taste buds to the best purveyors of fine ice-cream.
And of course, coffee.
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|Occasionally the return trip can have heavier traffic. Bring your notepad and take advantage of the onboard wi-fi to pass the time.|
As we bring you nearer to the Falls, you will smell the smell which we can only call “wet”. We’ve tried, but we can’t think of another word to describe it – it really is “wet”.
But then, as you get closer, you will notice more distinct aromas of nature; earthy, growing types of smells, with moss and water mixed in.
Breathe deep – it does the soul good.
Apart from all the other senses, Niagara Falls is visually stunning. As a side-note, this is why we are called “Stunning Niagara”!
We want you to get to know the Falls as intimately as possible during the day, so we take you to a number of different and unique vantage points. These are also incredible photo and selfie opportunities, so feel free to ask our guide to take a pic for you.
The Hornblower Cruise gives you a sense of the enormity of all the Falls. Like an ant approaching a human, you are at water-level, looking up to see the Falls flexing their vast muscles. But not only do you see huge amounts of water cascading over the edge, but at the same time, the mist and sunshine generate beautiful, seemingly-random rainbows.
Table Rock is part of the tour. taking you to the edge of the Horseshoe Falls where you can watch the water flowing over the edge of the Falls and get a close-up “aerial” view of the river below.
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|Keep the plastic poncho in case the weather turns.|
Available as an optional tour addon, Skylon Tower allows you to be a bird for a while. The Tower is 520 feet (160m) above street level and 775 feet (236m) from the bottom of the Falls. The ascent to the viewing platform is made in a “Yellow Bug” elevator, which only takes a minute (52 seconds to be precise) to carry passengers to the top of the tower on the exterior of the Tower.
At the Whirlpool Rapids, weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to take a short helicopter ride over Niagara Falls. It is an extra cost, but you will never forget the experience, soaring over the river and the Falls, with AMAZING photo opportunities. Payment is made on the day, directly to the helicopter company (you will receive a friends-of-friends discount – they are friends of ours and you will be our friend by then).
The optional tour addon Journey Behind the Falls gives yet another encounter with the Falls. The observation deck at the bottom is very much an up close and personal (and wet) meeting with a BIG WATERFALL. There are also viewing portals, which are cut straight through the rock and give a view you won’t get from anywhere else. I won’t spoil the surprise of what you will see!
THE GOOD 'GOODER'
Because a pilgrimage to Niagara Falls is lifetime event, we want you to feel secure in knowing what goes into making it unforgettable. So we do our best to make the good stuff “gooder” and the bad stuff less bad.
We pick you up and we drop you off afterwards. Either from your hotel in Downtown Toronto, Toronto Airport or from our agreed meeting places. For more info, click here (opens in new tab).
You skip the queues to the Hornblower Cruise. This is a biggie as sometimes queues can literally be hours long. Please try not to look too smug as you pass the lines. Well, actually, feel free to look as smug as you want – it serves them right for not journeying with us!
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|Use hand dryers in the bathrooms to dry your hair if needed. Bring a hairbrush!|
You are even more special. We don’t like big tour groups, so our groups range from 10-24 people (sometimes smaller). Think of it this way; if you’re on a tour of 50 people you are 1/50th special. We think you’re more special than that.
You get the best local advice from our guides. Want the best ice-cream? Our guides know that. Need to know where to buy an umbrella and fast? Our guides know that. Want to avoid the worst coffee? Our guides definitely know that.
Local travel knowledge. Tourists travelling on their own don’t know the best routes, don’t know which attractions are suitable for which weather, won’t get great car parks, don’t know how to avoid the traffic and so much more. All you have to do is relax and you get the best. And perhaps practice the royal hand-wave as we pass those plebs.
Local photo opportunity knowledge. Our guides know where the BEST photo opportunities are. They know the region like the back of their hands and will help you get photos that actually deserve to be printed.
THE BAD LESS BAD
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|You will need a poncho in the Journey Behind the Falls. A free poncho is provided if you don’t have one, which you get to keep.|
Whichever way you dice it, the trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls is a bit of a drive. But, our guides are great at keeping everyone interested and engaged and you can rest easy knowing they don’t speed or break the road rules. The bus is clean, neat, and comfortable and there is wi-fi available. We have refined the trip over many years and we take you on the best route, according to the conditions of each day.
No surprises. A day tour with us is an outlay of your hard-earned money and we respect that. We tell you up front what the costs are when you book and then give you options on the tour. If you’ve read this far then you already know what they are. We don’t like hidden extras, so we don’t do that to you.
That’s it! Congrats on making it to the end. We do hope you don’t go somewhere else and settle for a $100 bottle experience. We would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to open the $10,000 Niagara Falls “bottle of life experience” for you.
So please, go ahead and book your tour now by clicking here: