A new Niagara boat tour allows passengers to soak up the beauty and history of the Niagara River from the decks of a fully restored New Orleans-style paddle wheeler.
The Niagara Belle, which previously operated as a cruise boat in Toronto Harbour on Lake Ontario and in the Upper Niagara River, has been given a new lease on life by Niagara Sunset Cruises, sister company to Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Niagara Sunset Cruises bought the boat in 2013 and gave it a complete overhaul, including more than $1 million in renovations.
After running private charter trips last summer, the Niagara Belle is now offering cruises for the general public. Departures are available to passengers on both sides of the Niagara River from docks in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. and Lewiston, N.Y. Dinner cruises depart from both the Canadian and American docks, while lunch, wine tasting and a special Sunday Captain’s Cruise are offered from the Canadian side only.
“The Niagara Belle offers a unique opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery along the Niagara River like Fort Niagara, Fort George, General Brock’s Monument and the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge,” says John Kinney, president of Niagara Sunset Cruises and Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. “Whether it’s a dinner or wine tasting cruise, guests will get to taste and experience some of Niagara’s best offerings in one excursion.”
The Niagara Belle takes visitors on a leisurely cruise down the Lower Niagara River, through Queenston and Niagara-on-the-Lake, to the mouth of Lake Ontario. The ship can accommodate up to 80 people for a seated dinner and about 140 for cocktail cruises.
Niagara-on-the-Lake departures include:
- Dinner Cruise – Watch the sunset over Lake Ontario on a three-hour cruise that includes a buffet-style dinner, followed by post-dinner dancing.
- Lunch Cruise – Spend a relaxing afternoon on a two-hour sail of the Niagara River that includes a buffet-style lunch.
- Sunday Captain’s Cruise – Enjoy a two-hour afternoon ride featuring a unique surf and turf lunch of Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Tail available only on Sundays.
- Wine Tasting Cruise – Sample some of the finest VQA wines, from rich reds to robust whites and world-famous ice wines, made on the shores of the Niagara River in the heart of Ontario’s wine country. This 90-minute cruise includes a wine tasting flight paired with a complimentary bar snack.
Lewiston, NY departures include: Dinner Cruise – Enjoy the three spacious decks and take in the sunset and sites along the Niagara River as you enjoy a buffet-style dinner prepared fresh by Waterstreet Landing.
Along with public cruises, Niagara Sunset Cruises also offers private and corporate charters on the Niagara Belle, which can be booked in advance for events such as birthday parties, banquets, fundraisers, team-building retreats or VIP events.