When we got word that our offer was accepted on our new house, we were completely thrilled. We had bid on the house of our dreams and won. Now, we could see ourselves cooking in a new kitchen, our children playing in the backyard and possibly expanding our family. Our real estate agents were helpful, insightful and kind and we were excited to embark on this new venture. What was even better, is our dear friends had also found their dream home, a centurion red brick house with the original (yes original) owner parting with her lifelong home. Our friends have an eleven year old boy and they can now enjoy their big house as a family. Two families that are close friends getting their new homes at the same time. How do we celebrate?
Niagara Falls, Canada can be a dream for many people. As the honeymoon capital of the world, there are so many things to do. From the Maid of the Mist to the falls itself, Niagara Falls has a world wonder surrounded by so many activities, the average tourist can be overwhelmed. You want to enjoy an experience, something that you can walk away from with wonderful memories. The perfect experience should provide you with three things. A thrill of the unknown, insight and knowledge about the experience and a lifetime of memories.
It was no question how these two families should celebrate. We would go to the Jet Boat Whirl Pool Tours! Yes, to celebrate the purchase of our homes, we would fling ourselves into the famous whirlpool near Niagara Falls. Category 5 rapids, two new houses, four adults and two children? Let’s do it!
We headed into the beautiful Niagara on The Lake, a quintessential town and the jewel of Canada that is not to be missed. We were going into the domed jet. One of our children was four years old and was too small to go on the open boat jet tours. The domed boat promises the thrills of the opened domed boat, but without leaving soaking wet! We met at the floral clock about 45 minutes before our destined launch and we were beyond excited.
Two of the adults are thrill seekers. Rides are their thing. Give them the scariest roller coaster on the planet and they will go on it, without fear or reservation. Both children (ages 4 and 11) are thrill seekers as well and looking for something fast and adventurous. However, I and my good friend are not thrill seekers. In fact, the kiddy roller coasters can make us sick. We are the types to go to a theme park and hold on to your bags as you jump on the deathly scary roller coaster. We relish in lazy rivers and shun even the easiest tea cup ride. Thrills are buying a house hoping for the best, not going into Category 5 rapids. How can this ride satisfy various age ranges and thrill levels? We were intrigued.
A complimentary bus arrived about twenty minutes before our scheduled departure. Its comfortable seats and friendly driver and instructor put us at ease as we followed the winding landscape of the escarpment. Look over the cliff and see the United States meeting your gaze. As we snaked down these beautiful streets, we looked to our right to find Laura Secord, a famous woman in Canadian history’s house where she warned the British of an impending American attack, hundreds of years ago. Niagara Falls and its neighbouring cities are not only beautiful and huge tourist attractions, but major parts of Canadian history. As we approached our destination, we saw both the domed and open jet boats. But first, a safety talk.
We were allowed free lockers to place our belongings that we did not want to lose during our trip. Our keen instructors gave us life jackets and made sure they were secure. The open boats also got plastic rain jackets and shoe covers because let’s face it, they were about to get drenched. We embarked on the domed jet boat and sat down. There were rails for you to hold on to as this boat was going to go fast! For those who do not like a stuffy boat, don’t worry, the domed boats have big beautiful windows that are open during the safe times on the boat ride. It is also perfect for photography because there are scenic shots that will be like nothing you have ever experienced before.
Our instructor took us down the river and we learned that Niagara Falls creeps back every year. At one point, it was right before the whirlpool, causing conflict in the waters and creating the famous spot. Niagara Falls will continue to retreat for years to come!
We learned about Canada’s Electrical plants that powers all of southern Ontario. Across the river, The American power plant creates over double the amount of both of the Canadian power plants and sends power as far away as Georgia! Both countries have so much to be proud of with their dedication to alternative energy sources.
Unlike many other rides, the Jet DOME Tour leaves whether it is rain or shine! A little water never hurt and it certainly will not hurt your experience for a domed jet boat tour!
We approached the category two and three rapids and I could tell people were getting excited. I hope I would not be too scared as the windows automatically closed. We were about to do some tricks! Our kind instructor told us that we would do a 360 in the water. Our driver started to speed up and suddenly we turned a complete 360 in the water! Because of the boats flat base, we can do tricks with ease. Spinning around did not make me sick at all but it also satisfied all of the thrill seekers! We had found the perfect balance! We continued to do some fun tricks and hear about the beautiful trails you can take both on the Canadian and American side. However, we started approaching the Category 5 waves.
Category five waves are beautiful, majestic and dangerous. It is illegal for anyone to kayak, canoe or boat in these waters that border the two countries. Even trained individuals are prohibited and it is patrolled. So we get not only a special experience but a rare one at that!
We traveled into the category five waves and the boat was strong. It bounced a bit but not too much to scare children or make someone feel ill. It was one of the coolest experiences to see the strong wave’s crash over our boat. We were encapsulated by the waves, but suddenly, there is a break in the water and our instructor points out the Category six waves and the whirl pool. I sit back in amazement and think, this area, 12,000 or so years ago is the exact place where Niagara Falls once was. Its receding cause this massive whirlpool that has the power to swallow whole trees and keep them bobbing up and down in its mouth for months. This whirlpool is unique, epic and dangerous and for a moment in time, I am right beside it in a domed boat with twenty five other individuals. We are witnessing a natural wonder, a human danger and a piece of world history.
We leave the rapids for a break and time to open the windows for a few beautiful photos. The crowd is amazed. We go through a second time and then come out of the rapids to do more tricks and to have a few more photo opportunities.
The group was grateful for the many chances that the crowd was given to take photos, to relax and enjoy the scenery and to have those beautiful windows open often for fresh air to come in and keep us cool. It was better than air conditioning on a warm summer’s day. With my camera full and our hearts filled with adventure, we boated back to the dock, passing by the open boats bravely facing the cascade river rapids.
We passed under the Lewiston Bridge as cars lined up to go to Canada and the United States. This was an excellent photo opportunity to definitely take advantage of it!
As we arrived, the staff was there to help us safely out of the boat. We gathered our things from the locker and made our way to the gift shop that has everything from pictures to tee shirts about surviving the whirl pool! Our tour guide was delightful and the staff was attentive. I think we should make this an annual trip!
The Whirl Pool Jet tour satisfies all of an adventurers needs. It is great for all ages, all thrill levels and more. It is a great date day event or a family event! Though you do not see Niagara Falls on this tour, you definitely get something just as good, a whirl pool, a ride down the Niagara River and the thrill of riding the rapids between two countries that have been friends for ages.
The Domed Jet boat is perfect for families who have younger children or having elderly parents that may not enjoy getting wet but want to experience the tour. The open boat is perfect for thrill seekers who don’t mind getting wet. Both boats take the same track and you will get the same views. The domed jet boat allows you to also bring your camera to capture the perfect moments with photos or video! The open boat allows you to have the breeze hit you head on along with the beauty of the river. Either way, you and your family will be satisfied!
This experience is not to be missed. Other than seeing the falls itself, this is a great adventure for any family or couple. You can spend your lunch either in Niagara on the Lake at various restaurants catered to all types of palates (a five minute drive) or it is a quick five minute drive back to the falls for endless eating options. Whether this is a day trip or a once in a lifetime vacation to Niagara Falls, the whirl pool jet tour will have you talking for years to come, with memories that will last a lifetime! There are many hotels in the area that you can stay at including Great Wolf Lodge which is a wonderful family hotel but also a perfect location to access the Jet Boat Tour. If your hotel is closer to Niagara Falls and you do not have a car, simply use the WE Go bus to bring you and your family right to the floral clock meeting place. If you have a car, parking is free by the floral clock but spaces are limited! There are also a lot of great picnic spots nearby if you’re looking to have lunch afterwards. The options are endless!
To purchase tickets for any of the tours, click the link.