As traditional and played out as some might consider the Niagara tourism scene to be, there is still some outlets of pure joy among the ponchos, over-priced gift shops and hysteria surrounding one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Horseshoe Falls are about 20 minutes from the Brock University campus by car, and can provide a thrill not possible anywhere else in the world.
Among the flurry of attractions, my favourite is the Niagara Whirlpool Jet-boats. Whether you’re new to the Niagara region and haven’t gotten to explore the tourist-y side of things, or if you’ve been neglecting and taking for granted the amazing experiences in your backyard — you’ve still got another month before the tours shut down for the winter season.
The jet boat tour is approximately an hour, taking you from Niagara-on-the-Lake, through the Gorge into the rapids below the falls. The jet boats take you through up to class five rapids, where up to 20 mph waves crash overtop of you. On the booking website one of the most frequently asked questions is, “Will I get wet?” The answer to that is a most certain, “Yes”. So if you don’t mind getting your hair wet and don’t mind compromising your ‘fashion integrity’ by wearing the iconic yellow ponchos, it’ll be a sublime experience.
During the trip, a helicopter flies over in order to photograph the journey through the rapids. In most of the photos you won’t be able to see the boat — let alone yourself — as a result of the giant waves.
Of course you could instead buy tickets to the Jet Dome (completely covered by glass) and protect yourself from the quite-possibly ice cold, water — but where’s the fun in that?
I’ve lived in the Falls my entire life and in that time I’ve done more attractions than I’d care to name, but I’ve absolutely never experienced anything like this freezing, soaking hour of terror and hilarity. Don’t delay any longer, with dates available until mid October, you can make a reservation at whirlpooljet.com